Forest of Reading Takes Root


20160527_130349What is described as the ‘rock concert’ for authors and young readers, The Festival of Trees opened Chapter 1, and arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at The Essar Centre on Friday, May 27th,2016.

Young people from school boards throughout the District of Algoma arrived on a steady stream of school buses to the first ever Festival of Trees, Forest of Reading event in The Sault.

If it was possible to harness the energy pulsating in the Essar Centre on Friday, the power grid could have plugged in and lit up the Essar Centre itself.

To say that the event was a success is an understatement. Elementary school students, numbering over 1,000  were positively humming with open minds and open books.

For the students in attendance, it was an opportunity to meet directly with authors, take part in literary workshop presentations, and purchase books from an extensive travelling collection.

It was also an opportunity to have books signed by the author. The line-ups were steady as students made their way to the tables where authors listed below were encouraging young minds to keep reading.

Janet Wilson, Heroes.

David Skuy, Rocket Blues.

Kevin Sylvester, Baseballology.

Joel Sutherland, Haunted Canada 5.

Alma Fullerton, In A Cloud of Dust.

Daphne Greer, Jacob’s Landing.

Eric Walters, Hope Springs.

Elly MacKay, Butterfly Park.

Wesley King, The Incredible Space Raiders (From Space).

Natalie Hyde, Glow-In-The-Dark-Creatures.

20160527_133607Matthew MacDonald Manager of Public Services for Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and local Chair, Festival of Trees told saultonline that “All together there have been about 1500 tickets sold for this event. This is the first time we have hosted Festival of Trees, here in Sault Ste. Marie.”

20160527_130900(0)There were a number of interactive activities taking place on the Essar floor for students to participate in.

Thank you to Nancy, from Algoma District School Board and to the young readers who spoke with saultonline. Reading Rocks!

20160527_130252‘The Festival of Trees is Canada’s largest literary event for young readers and is continuing to grow. It culminates in a two-day awards celebration for the school-aged and French-language programs of the Forest of Reading in Toronto, with satellite Festivals taking place across Ontario. Almost 10,000 people attend the Festival in Toronto, which is co-presented by International Festival of Authors (IFOA), at the Harbourfront Centre.

In 2012, the OLA began its Festival expansion and now each year satellite locations are put on in additional cities. Satellite Festivals have been held in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Parry Sound, Ottawa, and London. The first French Festival of Trees™ was also held in 2014 in Toronto. It is the first and only French literary festival of its kind in Canada. All Festivals take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In 2016,'(

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