With the culmination of the Harry Potter series, the fifth film, and Prophecy 2007, scholars and fans have had quite the summer to reflect upon the series they hold near and dear to their hearts. Many have said that these past few months have flown by faster than a Firebolt. Others feel that it has been a summer to savor slowly. Either way, one cannot deny that it has been quite the journey. The friends we have made, the fun we have had, and the lifelong memories we have created are the true reflection of the impact Harry Potter and his friends have had on us. While the ride may be over for our favorite characters in canon, the fandom will continue just as strong as it’s ever been. Prophecy 2007 was evidence of the force that is fandom and Portus 2008 is the continuation of that force.

We hope to see you at Portus where the magic continues…

Best Regards,
Aziza Aba Butain
Editor-In-Chief

 


By Jessica Daggett

Looking for insight about what to expect at Portus? Prophecy 2007 is an aptly-named place to start.

For three days, August 2-5, Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel played host to nearly 1,400 enthusiastic Harry Potter scholars and fans for activities as diverse as academic presentations and Wizard Rock concerts.

Attendees were as equally diverse. Though Muggles abounded, there were copious witches and wizards, including a few professors (hello Delores Umbridge and Madame Maxime), a Weasley clock, and a ghoulishly framed Mrs. Black. As with its predecessors (HPEF's Nimbus-2003, The Witching Hour, and Lumos 2006), the costumes were a distinct highlight of the event.

Attendees could choose from over 100 formal presentations, from a Mary Sue workshop and a Magical Ethics roundtable to presentations about Harry Potter video games and Freudian themes in the series. Steve Vander Ark, creator of the HP-Lexicon, was a particular hit with attendees, leading audiences through various retrospectives on the seven Harry Potter novels and a tour of the real-world inspirations for J.K. Rowling's imaginary Wizarding World haunts.

Potter scholars and fans had a wide array of informal activities from which to choose when not already attending the various presentations, panels, and workshops. Thursday night saw not only the Welcoming Feast, but a raucous Wizard Rock concert headlined by fan favorites Harry and the Potters and an outing to Toronto's IMAX theater for a special showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Saturday's Decade of Enchantment Ball boasted an assortment of magical-themed libations and dancing until the early hours of the morning.

Of particular interest was the always heated-competition for the coveted House Cup. Determined by such factors as volunteerism and participation/standings in various competitive activities (Dueling, Quidditch, Wizard Chess, etc.), House Points were initially racked up by the ever-diligent Hufflepuffs, who were overcome in the end by the cunning Slytherins. Grumblings of discontent were heard from Hufflepuffs and discontented Ravenclaws and Gryffindors, all of whom will no doubt be looking to claim glory at Portus.

This Prophecy-goer, for one, was certainly sad to see the weekend end. More exciting than the many things to see and do was the opportunity to spend time with rarely-seen friends from across the globe and the happy chance to form new friendships. We are all looking forward to doing the same next summer in Dallas.

Please enjoy Portus 2008’s Visual Retrospective on Prophecy 2007.

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Portus is excited to announce our first special guest, Steve Vander Ark!

One of the most knowledgeable and popular speakers in the Harry Potter universe, Steve’s presentations always draw a crowd. His dynamic speaking style appeals to all sorts of Harry Potter fans from the newest HP addict to the most fandom- ingrained Potterphile. Steve will be speaking at Portus’s Welcoming and Leaving Feasts which are included in your basic registration. Purchase yours before August 31st to take advantage of our early registration prices!

As an expert in Harry Potter canon, Steve has enjoyed speaking at many Harry Potter symposia and conventions, including Nimbus 2003 in Florida, Convention Alley in Ottawa, Accio in Britain, Patronus in Denmark, Lumos 2006 in Las Vegas, Sonorus 2007 in California, Sectus in London, and Prophecy 2007 in Toronto. He is probably best known in fandom as the creator and editor of The Harry Potter Lexicon, a reference web site devoted to the book series. Steve has been involved with fandoms for many years, beginning with his first Star Trek convention back in 1975. He's served as president of various fan clubs and other fan organizations over the years. A K-8 library media specialist from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve is also a freelance writer and columnist, as well as being the resident director for Caledonia Community Players.

Wizard Rock at Portus

In continuing the tradition of wrocking music, we are excited to announce our Wizard Rock concert featuring The Moaning Myrtles and The Mudbloods.

We are also excited to announce that Catchlove and The Owl Post will be performing in some of our Common Room Unplugged Sessions.

Check out their MySpace pages and stay tuned to the website and future editions of The Portal for up-to-date Wizard Rock news as well as scheduling.

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Early Registration Prices Ending Soon

Register before August 31, 2007 and take advantage of our early registration prices. Visit our website for more details on how to register.

Call for Proposals

If you’re interested in being a part of formal programming for Portus, please visit our website for information on how to do so.

Proposals are sought for presentations, papers, moderated panels, workshops, roundtables and posters on any topic relating to the Harry Potter novels and/or the fan community. We welcome formal papers as well as proposals for a variety of presentation models, including prepared panel discussions and workshops. We encourage workshops, in particular, that focus on audience participation and interaction. Additionally, we are assembling a poster session for topics that might lend themselves to more visual presentations or more interactive discussion with a smaller audience.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is midnight CST on January 1, 2008. To submit a proposal for Portus, please send an email to fpsubmissions@portus2008.org.

Volunteering

Run completely by volunteers, Portus 2008 relies upon attendees who help by lending their time and skills to the symposium. Volunteering is a truly unique way to get the most out of your symposium experience. Be a part of the behind-the-scenes activity by volunteering for Programming, Meet & Greet, Security, Registration, and much more.

Interested in a bit more? We still have staff positions open:

Visit our volunteer page to lend a wand.

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