Gathering of the Fellowship Convention for Tolkien Fans Starts Saturday!

Here's the latest press release about the Gathering of the Fellowship... starting this Saturday! If you're going, please drop us a line and let us know how it's going! :-)

Hundreds of fans of authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are headed to Toronto this week for the opening of The Gathering of the Fellowship on Saturday, July 1 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. The event goes through Monday evening and is followed by a screening of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy on Tuesday, July 4.

Jessica Burke, one of the Vice Presidents in charge of programming and Co-Chair of Heren Istarion, the Northeast Tolkien Society, explains, "Tolkien fans are passionate and involved. The Gathering of the Fellowship is continuing a tradition of getting together to celebrate the Professor, which has been around since before the Jackson films, and will certainly continue long after any film interpretation. We're covering stage and screen interpretations, scholarship and language, art, music, and costuming. We're providing a balance between leading Tolkien & Lewis scholars, stars from The Lord of the Rings films, music, and art. Our programming is so eclectic there is truly something for everyone."

Gathering President Edward Rodrigues, a Toronto area resident, notes that this summer's event follows the first Gathering, also in Toronto, which took place in December 2003, where fans could experience The Return of the King together at its first public performances. "For 2006, we felt it made sense to expand our scope to include C.S. Lewis, because of his long friendship with Tolkien and because The Chronicles of Narnia was very topical, with the first film having come out in December 2005. So we are really pleased to be able to feature speakers that look at Lewis and at the Inklings as a group."

Film actors Craig Parker and Bruce Hopkins are returning to the Gathering, having attended in 2003. Says Parker, "The Gathering was a blast. I'm really pleased to come back." This year, in addition to speaking on several panels, Parker is the master of ceremonies for the costume masquerade.

Special events at the Gathering include the opportunity for fans to see the new Lord of the Rings musical, recently nominated for fifteen Dora awards for achievement in Toronto theatre, together on July 2, a Saturday evening picnic in Toronto Island Park, and an elegant banquet and costume masquerade on Monday.

Tickets for the Gathering are still available, both for the full weekend and for daily attendance. Most conference events take place at the Sheraton, located at 123 Queen Street West, Toronto. Details on programming, speakers, guests, and special events can be found at

The Gathering of the Fellowship is a registered non-profit corporation 501c(3)-pending staffed by Canadian and U.S. volunteers. This year's conference is supporting ProLiteracy Worldwide, the oldest and largest nongovernmental literacy organization in the world.


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