The last time J.K. Rowling read in Toronto was October 25, 2000.
More than 20,000 fans filled the SkyDome that day, some of whom paid more than $200 to be there.
This time round, Rowling was looking for something smaller, more intimate and interactive.
So, on the morning of October 23, Rowling will read to an audience of 950 fans at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto as part of the annual International Festival of Authors — and every one of the 950 tickets will be free.
Rowling will read from the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
She’ll follow up by giving fans a chance to ask her questions about Harry Potter’s world, and by autographing copies of Deathly Hallows that audience members received as they arrived.
Raincoast Books, Rowling’s Canadian publisher, has held a series of random draws, and Library Associations across the country are working with the Ontario Library Association to give away the tickets.
Two hundred of the tickets —100 pairs — have been given away by Raincoast through an online contest.
Ten pairs of tickets were awarded each day to fans seven years old and older through September 28.
On October 10, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) will hold a draw for roughly another 200 tickets for Ontarians.
The Ontario association is also making 4 tickets available to Library Associations in every province and territory in Canada, including the Yukon.
So the Yukon Library Association, in partnership with the Yukon Literacy Coalition, and with the support of Yukon Public Libraries, has two pairs of tickets to give away as part of Canadian Library Month celebrations!
Yukoners between the ages of 9 and 15 are eligible to win — one ticket for themselves, and one for an accompanying adult.
To enter the draw, answer the question (in 100 words or less), Why is it important to you to hear J.K. Rowling read, and speak about her books?
Then drop off the entry, including name and phone number, at the Whitehorse Public Library, Mac’s Fireweed Books or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm (PST) Thursday, October 4th.
Winners will be notified by telephone on Friday October 5th.
Travel expenses are not included in the prize.
“Being the most remote place in Canada from Toronto, we’re hoping that some organizations out there might be interested in sponsoring a child to go as a way of making it accessible to all,” says Aimee Ellis of the Yukon Libraries Association.
“For die hard Potter fans — the kind who show up in costume for midnight book launches — I imagine waiting for the contest results is a bit like waiting for the Sorting Hat to pronounce which house you belong to. Even though the deadline is only one short week away, it may seem like eternity.”
All you can do is get writing and cross your fingers!