About Get Lit

What is Get Lit?

Get Lit is a not-for-profit organization that hosts its signature annual event in Toronto to raise funds for First Book Canada. 

Why did we create Get Lit?

Words have the power to change lives. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the Get Lit podium. Once a year, Get Lit’s roster of notable speakers share passages from one of their favourite literary works. Although authors are often featured, we invite successful and inspiring Canadians of all professions to share their excerpts with hundreds of enthusiastic attendees of all ages. To date, our reader line-up has included architects, opera singers, musicians, doctors, artists and chefs. Each tells the story of one book that inspired them, altered their perspective or impacted their lives. We meet, mingle, share our stories and help First Book Canada deliver over 100,000 books each year.

Who founded Get Lit?

Get Lit was founded Romina Tina Fontana in 2005. Inspired by Canadian poet Al Purdy’s famously intense and comic public readings, Romina decided to create a unique fundraising event and invite eminent Canadians to read from their favourite piece of writing.

Over the past fifteen years Romina has embarked on numerous creative projects including two collections of poetry, the Québec premiere production of Morris Panych’s play Lawrence & Holloman, and co-producing a short film based on Al Purdy’s poem “At the Quinte Hotel” in 2002 starring Gord Downie. The film was featured at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. She was also a Co-Founder of Film North – The Huntsville International Film Festival. 

Media Coverage

National and local media attend each year to talk to our readers, photograph their interaction with the audience, and to absorb the amazing energy in the room.  Get Lit has been featured in Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Best of T.O., Global TV, CBC Radio, and many more.  

Commitment to Excellence

The amazing people who buy Get Lit tickets deserve an outstanding experience. From our slate of notable readers to the food and drink we offer, we strive to be the best.

Who has read in the past?

Dave Bidini
Kevin Newman
Dr. Jean Marmoreo
Gaëtane Verna
Matt James
Jenn Agg
Ian Brown
Jack Diamond
Rahul K. Bhardwaj
Jennifer Keesmaat
Julie Nesrallah
Ziya Tong
Damian Abraham
Frank Viva
Amanda Lang
Jeremy Laing
Perdita Felicien
Robyn Doolittle
Dr. Carolyn Bennett
Marianne McKenna
Margaret Wente
Michael Bryant
Carol Off
Neil Hetherington
Adam Van Koeverden
Hedvig Alexander
Terry O’Reilly
Noel Edison

About First Book Canada

What is First Book Canada?

First Book Canada is a charity committed to providing free new books and educational resources to schools andcommunity-based programs serving across the country. Tom Best is the Executive Director of all Canadian operations and outreach. 

Why does Get Lit raise $ for FBC?

Because the majority of low-income families in this country do not have a single book to share with their children. First Book Canada is working hard to change that. It puts new books into the hands of children who need them most.

And the need is great: literacy is critical in determining whether a child will finish school, the work they do and even their health. In some of Canada’s most underfunded communities, there is only one book for every 100 children.

Who founded First Book? 

First Book was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Washington D.C. First Book’s President and CEO Kyle Zimmer, who was a corporate lawyer at the time, tutored children in reading at a local food pantry in her spare time. During this experience, and while traveling the country to represent the Navajo nation with colleagues Elizabeth Arky and Peter Gold, she met educators and community leaders working with kids from low-income families. She discovered nearly all lacked sufficient books and educational resources. Kyle, Elizabeth and Peter established First Book to provide an ongoing supply of books to schools and programs working with children from low-income families. 

Since their founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 150 million books. 

About the Event

Who attends Get Lit?

Get Lit attendees range in age from 8 to 80. They are drawn to us by their love of books and belief in the power of reading. They are engaged, influential, stylish, cosmopolitan and they are leaders in both their personal and professional lives.  They enjoy good food, fine wine, and a night on the town.

Many Get Lit fans have attended all eight of the events to date. This year, we are pleased to announce our new venue and double the number of attendees to approximately 400. 

Why should I attend?

It’s an extraordinary evening, full of surprises and moving, funny and heartfelt stories. Unlike any other event in the calendar, it draws together diverse readers who share their own passion for the printed word and engage the audience with their personal journeys of self-discovery through literature.

And did we mention great food, great wine and great conversation in a fun and energetic setting? Bring your family, friends, colleagues and clients. Our guests and sponsors return year after year because it’s an amazing night for an important cause.  

Who are this year’s readers?

Get to know our Readers for Get Lit 2017 here. 

What happens at Get Lit?

5:00-6:00 // Readers & Sponsors Arrive

6:00 // Doors Open, Mix & Mingle, Food & Drink

6:45 // First Three Readers

8:00 // Intermission,  Mix & Mingle, Food & Drink

8:30 // Next Three Readers

9:30 // Mix & Mingle, Food & Drink