Bustling Calgary neighbourhood becomes Diagon Alley for a day to celebrate the release of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

It was a magical afternoon in Kensington over the long weekend, with the release of the latest installment of the Harry Potter universe, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, bringing fans of the franchise together once more for the first major reveal since the final film adaptation of the original series hit theatres in 2011.

The Cursed Child book revisits the world of the boy wizard and his friends 19 years after the final story in the original series takes place (and in real time, 19 years after the very first novel was published). The tale, which was penned by screenwriter Jack Thorne with input and final approval from J.K. Rowling, comes to readers in the form of a script, rather than a novel. But although the story departs from the previous style, timeline, and author of the original series, it is clear Potter fans strongly supported the expansion of the treasured magical world.

Photos by Michaela Ritchie

Published on: August 5, 2016

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Thousands of eager fans flocked to Kensington on July 31 — both Harry Potter’s and series author J.K. Rowling’s birthday — to celebrate the release of the latest installment in the Potterverse: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Despite the series’ reputation as the best selling book series in history, Ellen Parker, director of communications for the Kensington BRZ, said in an interview with Avenue magazine that event organizers “didn’t realize it would be this popular.” The hoard of fans descending on Kensington forced sudden road closures and created hour-long waiting lines to experience the magic. Photo by Michaela Ritchie