Toronto Embraces Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

  • Almost 17,000 free exhibition tickets scooped up over 10 days, making it the most successful exhibition of its kind at TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • More than 25,000 fans photographed on the iconic Iron Throne
  • Visits by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and series star Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) added extra doses of star power

TORONTO, March 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - HBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada), and TIFF would like to thank the thousands of people who attended Game of Thrones: The Exhibition for making this free, 10-day celebration of HBO's hit series such a huge success.

"HBO Canada audiences are entertainment junkies so we suspected that there would be a lot of interest but the non-stop crowds, lineups and buzz exceeded even our wildest expectations," said Peter Furnish, Vice President, Marketing, Astral Television Networks. "On behalf of HBO Canada, thank you to the Game of Thrones fans - and soon-to-be fans - for coming out in droves to engage with this amazing show."

Running from March 9 - 18, located in the expansive main-floor HSBC Gallery at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and designed and staged by TIFF's world-class exhibitions team, Game of Thrones: The Exhibition showcased a wealth of material from HBO's global production, including costumes, props, weaponry, photography and behind-the-scenes video. In total, nearly 17,000 people claimed free tickets either in advance or by waiting in RUSH lines, representing a fully sold-out event. This figure represents the highest number of people to go through the HSBC Gallery over a 10-day period, making it the most successful event of its kind to date at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The anchor to the exhibition was the infamous Iron Throne itself. Located in the RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, more than 25,000 fans had the chance to be King or Queen for a day and were photographed with the Throne.

Capping the excitement were celebrity appearances by series star Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), who surprised fans with an impromptu autograph signing and photo opp at the public opening on March 9, and by Westeros creator George R.R. Martin himself, who toured the exhibit and thrilled a sold-out crowd at the In Conversation With . . . event on March 12 and even read from the in-progress sixth novel in the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series. Video of this event, hosted by The Movie Network's Teri Hart and in partnership with Random House of Canada and TIFF, is available now at hbocanada.com, randomhouse.ca and tiff.net.

The Iron Throne now travels to Vancouver on Friday (March 23), where fans will have the opportunity to have their photo taken on the Throne and see all 10 episodes from the first season in a free marathon screening starting at 8 a.m. PT at VIFF's Vancity Theatre.

About Game of Thrones: Season 2
Premieres Sunday, April 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET/MT
HBO's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones kicks off its 10-episode second season. Based on the popular book series A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, this Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Among the returning members of the ensemble cast are Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey and Kit Harington. The series is Executive Produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

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About HBO Canada
HBO Canada is a multiplex channel offered by Astral's The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central (Western Canada). HBO Canada brings Canadians the current slate of signature dramatic programs for which HBO is known, together with new and never-before-seen programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events, behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO's extensive library - all in an uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is offered in high definition on HBO Canada HD and programming is accessible on demand and online where available by service provider. For more information, please visit www.hbocanada.com.

The Movie Network is a member of the Astral family. Astral Media Inc. (TSX : ACM.A/ACM.B) is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and interactive media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com.

Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.

For access to The Movie Network's media room or Movie Central's press site, please visit http://press.astral.com or http://mediacentre.corusent.com.

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman Family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation, Major Sponsors L'Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Sponsor and Official Bank RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L'Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto.

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Media contacts:

The Movie Network (Eastern Canada)
Nicolle Balen
(416) 956-8638
nbalen@astral.com

Movie Central (Western Canada) 
Owen McCorquodale
(416) 479-6068
Owen.McCorquodale@corusent.com

For more information about TIFF, contact the Communications Department at 416-934-3200 or email proffice@tiff.net.