Celebrating the Love of Reading with Canada’s Most Popular Children’s Reading Festival

Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ Welcomes Thousands of Young Readers to Harbourfront Centre

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (April 24, 2013) – Where else but at Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ can you go to see authors celebrated like rockstars? Nowhere! The stages are set and the young readers are sure to go crazy for all the nominees at the 7th annual Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™, May 15 and 16, 2013. Programme partners the Ontario Library Association and Authors at Harbourfront Centre (AUTHORS) are once again delighted to welcome thousands of children to the Harbourfront Centre site to take part in a variety of activities honouring the shared experience of reading as part of Canada’s largest children’s literary festival.

This year’s winners from 10 Forest of Reading® award categories will be unveiled at dedicated ceremonies at the two-day festival. The award categories include: Blue Spruce™ Award (Kindergarten–Grade 2); Silver Birch® Express (Grade 3–4); Silver Birch® Fiction (Grade 4–6); Silver Birch® Non-Fiction (Grade 4–6); Red Maple™ Fiction Award (Grade 7–8); Red Maple™ Non-Fiction Award (Grade 7–8); Le prix Peuplier (French-language, Kindergarten–Grade 2); Le prix Tamarac (French-language, Grade 4–6); Le prix Tamarac Express (French-language, Grade 4–6); and White Pine™ Fiction Award (Grade 9–12).

Also included in the Festival of Trees™ ticket price is a chance to meet any of the six authors participating in ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers in partnership with Forest of Reading®. This year, ALOUD features four workshops providing a unique opportunity for young readers to engage with authors. On May 15 acclaimed authors Teresa Toten and Eric Walters lead a workshop focused on their young adult novel The Taming, and the subject of love. Megan Crewe (The Way We Fall) and Lena Coakley (Witchlanders) present a workshop on exploring feelings through writing. May 16 features Kevin Sylvester (Neil Flambé and the Crusader’s Curse and Splinters) leading a cartooning workshop and Evan Munday (The Dead Kid Detective Agency) shows the young readers how to write a mystery of their own. All workshops take place at 1pm.

May 15: Activities complementing the Red Maple, Blue Spruce and White Pine Awards include author workshops by Allison Van Diepen (The Vampire Stalker), Jeyn Roberts (Dark Inside), Steve Pitt (Running to Extremes) and Rebecca Bender (Don’t Laugh at Giraffe). Other special features of the day include an appearance by OWL Magazine’s Kim Cooper.

May 16: Activities complementing Le prix Tamarac, Le prix Peuplier and the Silver Birch Awards include French-language workshops by Mireille Messier (Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines and Chapeau Charlotte!), Anne Bernard-Lenoir (Pacific Express: Terreur sur la ligne d’acier) and Christine Ouin (Dominque Demers), and others; author workshops by Allan Stratton (The Grave Robber’s Apprentice), Janice Weaver (Harry Houdini), and Wendy Kitts (Sable Island); and representatives from Toronto Police Services. Other special features of the day include appearances by the cast of YTV’s Zoink’d! who will be hosting the Silver Birch ceremonies, and putting on a live version of their zany and hilarious show on the Redpath Stage between ceremonies. Hosted by comedian Adam Christie, Zoink’d! takes your average TV talent show, turns it upside-down, and covers it in goo. Adults get a shot at showcasing their weird and wacky talents, and it’s up to the panel of new kid judges to decide if they’ll win the coveted title of Zoink Master. But if the adults don’t bring the funny they’ll be met with boos—and ooze—in TV’s messiest elimination. For more information visit www.ytv.com/shows/120/zoinkd

The two-day Festival also includes roaming entertainment by magicians and circus performers, book making workshops, canoe rides, and two contemporary jewelry exhibitions presented as part of the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference at Harbourfront Centre featuring unconventional venues: an RV and a 20ft shipping container.

S&B Books Ltd. is the official wholesaler of Forest of Reading®. Books by all Forest of Reading®-nominated and ALOUD authors will be available for purchase on site, as well as other Forest® merchandise.

All events and activities are located at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto) and take place between 9:30am and 2pm. For more information and to purchase tickets the public may visit readings.org or call 416-973-4000.


The Ontario Library Association (OLA) creates programmes, advocacy and promotion for its more than 5,000 members who work in primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and public libraries across Ontario. The mission of the OLA is to foster free public access to information, and to promote Canada’s history and culture through the programmes and services of the libraries of Ontario.

Since its inception in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has hosted over 8,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 20 Nobel Laureates. Our season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 24 to November 3, 2013), including YoungIFOA and IFOA Ontario; and the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 15–16, 2013).

Jennifer Asselin
jasselin@harbourfrontcentre.com | 416-973-4395