Freedom to Read Week in Canada begins on Sunday, February 26

‌Contact for interview opportunities:

Hazel Millar: | 416-994-1891
Contact for information about Freedom to Read Week: | 416-975-9366


MEDIA ADVISORY: Freedom to Read Week in Canada begins on Sunday, February 26

February 22, 2017

Dear Editors and Producers,

From February 26 to March 4, 2017, Canadians will mark the 33rd annual Freedom to Read Week, a national event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The event is organized by the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

Events take place across the country in schools, libraries, universities and community spaces. They range from free expression panel discussions and banned books clubs to public readings and social media campaigns. Speakers include authors Raziel Reid, Harold Johnson and Hasan Namir; Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Privacy, Surveillance and Technology Project, Brenda McPhail; and librarians, students, professors, readers and more.

Highlights of Freedom to Read Week events include:


  • Google Is Burning: Book Censorship in the Digital Age, a discussion led by Raziel Reid on boundaries in CanLit, the suppression of young adult literature, and book burning in the 21st century, will be held at Mount Royal University’s Lincoln Park Campus in Calgary on February 28th.
  • The Edmonton Public Library will host A Conversation about Reconciliation with Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners Chief Wilton Littlechild and Dr. Marie Wilson on Tuesday, February 28th. The session will be moderated by Honorary Witness Shelagh Rogers.
  • Robert Bittner who will hold a talk exploring censorship of LGBTQ+ literature for children and young adults at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on February 27th.
  • A discussion on the history of book banning, led by University of Regina professor Andrew Stubb, will take place at the John M. Harper Branch Library in Waterloo, Ontario, on February 28th.


A complete list of Freedom to Read Week events and interactive displays taking place across Canada is available at

During Freedom to Read Week, the Writers’ Union of Canada will announce the recipient of this year’s Freedom to Read Award.

Please feel free to contact me for further information on this annual celebration of Canadians’ freedom of expression.

Best wishes,

Hazel Millar
On behalf of Freedom to Read Week
416-994-1891 |

About Freedom to Read Week
Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee, a group committed to promoting intellectual freedom in Canada. Since 1978, the Freedom of Expression Committee has worked with educators, librarians, publishers, writers, booksellers, advocacy groups and the community at large to provide information that addresses censorship and book and magazine challenges in Canada. For more information, visit

Freedom to Read Week is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information on our sponsors, visit

About the Book and Periodical Council
The Book and Periodical Council is the umbrella organization for Canadian associations that are or whose members are primarily involved with the writing, editing, translating, publishing, producing, distributing, lending, marketing, reading and selling of written words. For more information, visit

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