Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Freedom To Read Week 2013

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Presented by the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee, Freedom to Read Week is a national event that celebrates intellectual freedom while raising awareness of challenges to the written word. This month, it celebrates its 29th year. From February 24-March 2, events will take place in libraries, schools and art venues across Canada to encourage Canadians to think about their commitment to freedom of expression.

“Freedom to choose what we read is a basic right, yet it continues to be challenged in our libraries and schools every year,” says Marg Anne Morrison, chair of the Freedom of Expression Committee. “With Freedom to Read Week, we invite Canadians to place such challenges under scrutiny, and to debate and discuss how they affect us all.”

Incorporating readings, presentations, forums, panel discussions, films and challenged book displays, Freedom to Read Week offers Canadians a chance to express themselves on the issues of censorship and free speech. Toronto’s headlining event, Censored, will welcome playwright Catherine Frid, feminist advocate Steph Guthrie, librarian and storyteller Ken Setterington, novelist and activist Susan Swan and book publishing veteran Bruce Walsh to the stage to share their personal experiences with censorship. The Writers’ Union of Canada will also be presenting their Freedom to Read Award to children’s book publisher Patsy Aldana, whom executive director, John Degan, calls “a tireless promoter and defender of literature that digs into and examines challenging and often uncomfortable realities.”

To show your support for the cause, attend one of the many Freedom to Read Week events, start a banned-book club or spread the word about Freedom to Read Week on your website with one of their banners. For even more ideas, click here.

Freedom to Read Week kicks off in Toronto on Monday with a screening of Mark Johnston’s documentary Forbidden Reading, which explores the real dangers of censorship through the voice of Canadian writer Alberto Manguel.

Be sure to check back with us next week when members of our Open Book team share their stories of participating in Book Crossing in support of Freedom to Read Week.