The Gathering of the Fellowship, Smial of Northeast Tolkien Society The Gathering of the Fellowship Toronto 2006
NEWSLETTER 25 June 2006

Dear Tolkien Fan,

It’s time to pack your bags for Toronto! We are looking forward to welcoming you this coming weekend. In this, our last pre-event newsletter, we want to give you a final update on our guests, programming, and schedule. We also want to tell you what to do when you actually arrive!

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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!

Saturday, July 1, 2006
Start Times GONDOR
Opening Ceremonies: The Music of the Ainur

Ringers: Lord of the Fans
The Art of Jef Murray: Tolkien, Fairy Tales, and the “True Myth” of Christianity
Tolkien & Lewis: A Fellowship of Two
Creative Costuming for Practical Fans
A historian's hunt for the sOuRCeS: Finding J.R.R. Tolkien's Exeter College years' books.
Your Dwarves Don't Dance and Your Elves Don't Rock-n-Roll: A Tour of Tolkien-Inspired World Music
How to become a real Tolkien fan in thirty minutes and even get a diploma!
The Spiritual Worldview of The Lord of the Rings
Making Chainmail with The Ring Lord (1)

Tinco, Parma, Calma: The Basics of Writing in Tengwar (1)
The Moral Dimensions of Nature in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
Interpreting Tolkien & Lewis: Art, Academia, Film, Music, Literature, Fan Fiction

The Gathering of the Fellowship Auction to Benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide
Tolkien Animated!
The Lost Alphabets of Elfinesse
Teaching Tolkien
Ancanar Evolution
Marriage in Middle-earth
6:00pm Mithrandir's Picnic

Sunday, July 2, 2006
Start Times GONDOR
Born of Hope (1)
The Making of Ringers: Lord of the Fans
Tolkien's Art, Tolkien's Scholarship
Putting intoxicating substances to proper use in The Lord of the Rings (or not!): How Tolkien managed to sneak in some nasty habits of his.
Myth, Fact, and Incarnation
Fantasy & Science Fiction Helping Literacy (1)
The Dork of the Rings
Readings of Male Friendship in The Lord of the Rings
Swords and Sky Stones: Meteoritic Iron in The Silmarillion
There are no trenches in Middle-earth. Tolkien as a battlefield poet?
The Silmarillion for Dummies / Jewels in the History of Middle-earth
The Lord of the Rings on Stage
The Art of Ted Nasmith
The Lord of the Brush
Fan Fiction Workshop

Tinco, Parma, Calma: The Basics of Writing in Tengwar (2)
A Half Century of Preserving Middle-earth
M. Colin Havard: An Inkling’s Son Remembers

VIP Reception
Bruce Hopkins in 1nite

General Programming - Monday, July 3, 2006
Start Times GONDOR
Born of Hope (2)
  Why Tolkien?
Making Chainmail with The Ring Lord (2)
So you want a The Lord of the Rings costume?
Fantasy & Science Fiction Helping Literacy (2)
The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings
Ancanar: Fala Teilanin! (Going Forth in Friendship)
A Fan Multimedia Presentation

The Moral Worldview in the Writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Christian or Secular?
From Cloaks to Coronation Gowns: Re-creating The Lord of the Rings Costumes
Tolkien, a magical way to make the feelings for the Earth grow.
George Sayer: Pupil Biographer and Friend of Inklings
The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy: Personal Experiences

Inside the Actor’s Studio
The Fellowship of the Ringo!

Bringing The Lord of the Rings to the Stage
Kevin Smith Trust Auction
The Magic Ring meets The Lord of the Rings

Ted Nasmith Sings!
Bruce Hopkins' New Zealand Music Party

The Gathering of the Fellowship Banquet
Gathering Masquerade
The End of the Third Age

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...

The Gathering of the Fellowship presents
The Music of the Ainur

Professor Tolkien, in the voice of Eru Ilúvatar, wove many themes
and threads of creativity into an illuminated, enchanting whole ~
 The Ainulindalë.

 We hope to honour his work through our small
Opening Ceremonies production:
“The Music of the Ainur.”

The “Music of the Ainur” is a combination of art, music, and literature
which illustrates how many multi-talented individuals, inspired by Tolkien, can work and honour the Professor.
The Gathering of the Fellowship strives to exemplify this
multi-faceted approach in our program.

Featuring the unique talents of
Thoth and Giuseppe Festa & Lingalad

Saturday, July 1st., 2006, 9:30 AM
(Civic Ballroom, The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel)

We are pleased to confirm the following guests and presenters for The Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 in Toronto, in alphabetical order:
Alison Baird
Author  SciFi & Fantasy
Leah Damgaard-Hansen
Tolkien fan
Bruce Hopkins
Actor (“
Gamling”) in
The Lord of the Rings movies
Craig Parker
Actor (
Haldir) in
The Lord of the Rings movies
Matt Blessing
Tolkien archivist
John Daniels
Chain mail artisan
Alana Vincent Howard
Tolkien and Catholic studies
Kate Robinson
Fan filmmaker
Barb Boedges
Tolkien fan
Michael Drout
Medieval studies, Tolkien scholar
Kristine Larsen
Physics/Astronomy scholar
Anna Smol
Medieval English scholar
John Bowen
English scholar, Christian studies
Colin Duriez
  Lewis & Tolkien scholar
Michelle LeBlanc
Languages studies
Arden Smith
Tolkien languages scholar
Cliff Broadway
Actor, Writer, Producer
Daniel Gauthier
Marie Miesel
Tolkien studies
Amy H. Sturgis
Fantasy & SciFi studies, Writer
Marcel Bülles
  Tolkien scholar
Giuseppe Festa & Lingalad
Tolkien-inspired musicians
Judy Mitchell
Award-winning musician
Michael Coren
Broadcaster, Columnist, Writer
Mike Foster
Tolkien scholar
Jef Murray
Tolkien artist

Kate Dallin
M. Colin Havard
Son of original Inkling
Ted Nasmith
World-renowned  Tolkien artist

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:

Canada flagEntering Canada
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 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).

Checking In
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 HealingHouses 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.

Early Registration
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.

Registration FAQ
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?
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 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.

Badge name detailQuestion: 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

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?
Answer: Yes!

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!

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!

Canada’s newest High Definition Channel devoted to Collectors and Collectibles is looking for people who like to collect things to do with






Greater Toronto area residents only please.
This episode will be shot in association with the Gathering of the Fellowship.

4. Volunteers

Yes, here is another call for volunteers! We know you're probably sick of them. Send an email to 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.

5. Miscellaneous
The Lord of the Rings on Stage
Lord of the Rings Shopping Spree!

We have made special arrangements for our group to experience a TAX-FREE SHOPPING SPREE of Lord of the Rings Stage Show merchandise! On Sunday, July 2, between 11am and Noon, all Gathering of the Fellowship registered attendees are invited to an exclusive shopping event at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Even if you're not attending the show at 1pm., you are invited!

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity!


Be sure to mark your program to attend our two Auctions:

  • The Gathering of the Fellowship Auction to Benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, Saturday, July 1, 3:15pm, in Gondor (Civic Ballroom): This is our showcase auction, with items donated from Tolkien fans to raise money for our benefit charity. We expect a great turnout! Representatives from ProLiteracy Worldwide will be there, along with the television cameras from Collector Showdown! Show us your generous support!
  • The Kevin Smith Trust Auction, Monday, July 3, 3:30pm, in Moria (Essex Ballroom): Featuring Craig Parker and Bruce Hopkins, proceeds from this auction will go towards the Kevin Smith Trust.
Your Support Is Critical
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

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:

Lord of the Brush
Support the White Tree Fund, helping victims of natural disasters:
The White Tree Fund

Background art by Catherine Sparsidis. Gathering of the Fellowship logo artwork ©Jef Murray 2005.