|NEWSLETTER||25 June 2006|
1. Programming and Schedule
We invite you to look at our final programming schedule! Over the last few months our guest list, programming sessions, and schedule have gone through several evolutions, but we have been able to come up with the following, which is as close to final as we believe we can make it!
As you can see, there is a much to do and a lot to choose from! And added to this is the Movie Marathon on Tuesday, July 4th, where all three Lord of the Rings movies will be screened in a theatre back-to-back-to-back!
Here is a teaser of what to expect at our Opening Ceremonies...
We are pleased to confirm the following guests and presenters for The Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 in Toronto, in alphabetical order:
2. When You Arrive in Toronto
Are you excited about your Toronto trip? There is lots to see and do in Toronto, besides our event, so if you have extra time, we highly recommend browsing our Visiting Toronto page on the website. Here are some useful tidbits of information for you, to make your arrival easier:
If you are arriving from the United States or another country, be sure you review the entry requirements (click here). Generally, all you will need for entry is a valid passport. If you don't have a passport, make sure you have several pieces of identification.
If you are crossing the border and bringing with you any merchandise or display materials for the Gathering event itself, you may need a Customs Letter that we have obtained directly from the Canada Border Services Agency for this purpose. If you intend to ship materials ahead of you (including artwork), you should get in touch with our Customs Broker. Please email email@example.com for a copy of the letter, or for contact information for our broker.
From the Airport to the Sheraton Centre Hotel
Once you land at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, your next task is make your way to the hotel, which is in downtown Toronto. You will be arriving in one of three separate terminals: 1/2/3. Remember your terminal—your airline is connected to it! If you're renting a car, you can download and print the driving directions here. You can grab a cab or limo from the terminal to the hotel if you're not driving (expensive: the taxi flat rate is $46 CAD), or you can take advantage of the much cheaper Airport Express service, which is a coach bus that will take you to the hotel. The cheapest way is via public transit (click here for more information).
Parking at the Hotel
The hotel has valet parking available, but a much cheaper option is the Municipal Parking Garage across the street from the hotel. You can enter it from Queen Street, just opposite the hotel's main entrance. The rates are listed here. There is a direct underground connection from the Parking Garage's Level One to the hotel's Concourse level (one below Lobby).
You will find all of the check-in counters in the hotel's main lobby. If you have difficulties, we will be very happy to help you and give you a tour of the facilities. You can check with the Tour Desk on the Lobby Level for a way to contact us if you can't find one of our volunteers.
Houses of Healing (Gathering Office)
The Houses of Healing—the Gathering Office—will be open from early Friday morning until late Monday night. Our office will be located in the Carleton Room on the Mezzanine Level. From the hotel lobby, located the Waterfall Gardens and walk towards the right side, near the elevators to the Richmond Tower, behind the Traders Restaurant. Go up the stairs one level and then turn right and right again. If you use the elevators, get off at the Mezzanine level and turn left and left again. If you go down the hall the Carelton Room is the first door on your left. You should always be able to find one of us in the room at all times.
If you have any questions, or you can't find your way around, or if you need assistance, just visit us there. We will have a message board for you to post messages. This room will also be where we will conduct Early Registration. You will be able to pick up your badges here and avoid the rush on Saturday morning.
You will be able to pick up your Registration badges and tickets at the Houses of Healing Room (Carelton Room on the Mezzanine Level - see above) between 12 Noon and 10pm on Friday, June 30.
Full Registration services begin on Saturday morning and will continue through to the end of the event. You will be able to pick-up your pre-registered badges and tickets, and you will also be able to purchase tickets to our special events in limited quantities.
Question: What will I need to pick up my Registration?We think we have covered all the bases. Inevitably there will be something that we missed. Just remember that we will have volunteers wandering around able to answer your questions, or at the very least able to point you in the right direction. And above all—remember that this event is about Fellowship—spending time with friends and fellow Tolkien fans. Please forgive us our mistakes, and have a great time!
Answer: You should bring with you a printed copy of the Confirmation email sent to you, along with some identification.
Question: What if I never received a Confirmation email, or I lost it?
Answer: No problem—just send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a new one. If you don't have a Confirmation email, we will still find you in our database. If you qualified for a Tolkien Society or Northeast Society discount, remember to show us proof of your membership.
Question: Will my name be printed on the badges?
Answer: Yes, your Registration number, your Name (or your Screen Name) and Affiliation will be printed on the badges. If you indicated that you prefer to be anonymous, or if you did not provide a name for your guest, the badge will have "Tolkien Fan" printed on it. We will be printing badges this week, so if you wish to have something specific printed on your badge, you must let us know ASAP! Send an email to email@example.com.
Question: Will I also pick up tickets for the Banquet and Stage show, and the other Special Events? How do I determine my seating arrangements?
Answer: Yes, your registration package will include all of the tickets you purchased. Once you have your Banquet tickets and Stage show vouchers, you will make your way to the Seating Assignment table, where a volunteer will assist in arranging your seating assignments for you and your party on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is VERY important that your entire party is present for this process so that no one gets disappointed. We regret that we can not change seating assignments once allocated.
Question: I am only attending the Picnic—I am not registered for the rest of the convention. Do I still have to pick up my tickets at the hotel?
Answer: No. If you are ONLY attending the Picnic, you can make your way directly there and pick up a meal voucher from the volunteer staff on site. The picnic will be at Site Numbers 105 & 106 at the Hanlan's Point Picnic Area on the Toronto Islands Park. Make sure you take the ferry to Hanlan's Point! The picnic will begin at 6pm.
Question: Will there be priority seating for Early-Bird Registrations and Silmaril Registrations?
Answer: Yes. However the priority seating areas will only be designated in the Gondor and Moria rooms, and in the movie theatre.
Question: Will I have to wear my badge at all times?
Answer: Yes, of course! Our staff will not allow entry to the conference area to persons not wearing their badges.
Question: Will there be a map provided? Will there be a Program Book with answers to more questions, if I have them?
3. Collector Showdown
Collector Showdown is a new Reality Television Program, and they will actually be filming an episode of their series at the Gathering! But they are still looking for contestants! If you are into collectible Tolkien-related items, give them a call! You could get yourself and your collection on TV!
Yes, here is another call for volunteers! We know you're probably sick of them. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in giving us your time. There will be a number of areas where you can help us out, including set-up and tear-down, security & queue management, special services and hospitality, art gallery supervision, and of course registration. Because of the size of our more intimate event, what we really need are multi-purpose volunteers able to do a variety of tasks when needed.
Volunteer Orientation Meeting
If you've already signed up to be a volunteer, there will be an orientation meeting on Friday, June 30 at 7pm. We will be giving you a pep-talk, a tour of the space, our expectations, and maybe something special... Meet us in the hotel at the top of the escalators on the Second Floor near the Waterfall Gardens window, or in Barad-Dûr (the Volunteer Office, the Oxford Room) on the Mezzanine level.
Be sure to mark your program to
attend our two Auctions:
We still need your support, especially financial support, to help make the Gathering successful. You can send donations securely over the Internet at Operation Gathering. Over the past few weeks the generosity of Tolkien fans has overwhelmed us! The spirit of fellowship is alive and well, but we're still not there! Please, help is you can!
Help us Out, Pre-Register!
We're in the final lap, but we're running out of fuel! At no other time have we needed Registrations more! Please, if you're coming to the Gathering, send us your PayPal payment ahead of time! We can no longer accept cheques at this point (we will on-site, of course), but your pre-registered payment will go a long way to ensure that we can go forward. Please visit our Registration Page.
Submit Your Masquerade Entry!
Haven't submitted your Masquerade Registration yet? Hurry to the Masquerade Page for the details and to sign up! Got questions? Email us at email@example.com.
Meet Other Gatherers!
Our supporters and attendees like to get together! In fact, there are already SEVERAL meetings, groups, trips, etc. that have been planned for when people arrive in Toronto! For more information, visit one of these Groups:
It has been a long road for us... but we're nearing the end. We have been through the ups and downs, from great elation to horrible despair. At one point we were so discouraged that the mountain was too far and too high, and that crossing the plain would be the end of us. But our fans stuck by us, pushed us on, told us it could be done. We have shed all of our unneeded baggage, exposed ourselves to the Great Eye, and continued ahead. In this way we hope to enter unnoticed into the mountain. We're climbing to the top and found the path, but there is one more task to be done...
Thank you for reading our newsletter.
As always, thank you for your support
The Gathering of the Fellowship Staff
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org