October 27, 2020, Toronto – In these uncertain times, when we seek to connect even while physically distanced, the goals of the second annual I Read Canadian Day, February 17, 2021, will resonate now more than ever. The event will be a national celebration of Canadian books for young people, with the goal of elevating the genre, and celebrating their breadth and diversity. I Read Canadian Day will take place in homes, schools, libraries and bookstores all across the country. Last year, the inaugural celebration received much needed support from federal representatives – most notably Mr. Lloyd Longfield, MP for Guelph, as well as Senator Rob Black, and received coverage from The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire. Celebrated Canadians Eugene Levy; Margaret Atwood; The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson; Kim’s Convenience actor, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee; and the National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain, were among those who joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau showing their support on social media @ireadCanadian.
The goal of I Read Canadian Day 2021, is for children nationwide to read a Canadian book for fifteen minutes on February 17th. On Saturday, February 13th, events will be held at bookstores all across Canada with creators taking part in readings and signings. “In these unprecedented times, now more than ever, we need to celebrate all Canadian voices by participating in I Read Canadian!” says Eric Walters, the best-selling author who spearheaded this initiative.
I Read Canadian Day was created as a collaboration between the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC); children’s author Eric Walters; CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers); and the Ontario Library Association (OLA.). This year, Communication-Jeunesse and Canadian School Libraries (CSL) have joined the steering committee, and will respectively be helping the event reach more French-Language Canadians and school librarians.
“Young readers across the country responded enthusiastically to the first I Read Canadian Day, and school libraries helped make that happen,” says Anita Kirkland Brooks, chair of Canadian School Libraries. “Canadian books help kids discover more about themselves and make connections to the diversity of the world around them. Kids need those connections now more than ever, and Canadian School Libraries is very pleased to help make that happen.”
“The team at Communication-Jeunesse is constantly in awe of the quality of the children’s literature coming out of Quebec and French-Canada, which succeeds in holding its own in the competitive global book industry,” says Pénélope Jolicoeur, Executive Director of Communication-Jeunesse. “We are proud to collaborate again this year with I Read Canadian in order to shine light on our great literature.”
The social media campaign, using the hashtag #IReadCanadian will launch in November on I Read Canadian’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts. Register your class, library or home to participate today at the official website. Key activities will take place February 13 to February 21, with February 17 as the official I Read Canadian Day. On that day at noon EST, a series of videos called I Write Canadian will premiere on the CCBC’s YouTube channel, Bibliovideo. Presentations from an amazing roster of authors and illustrators will be featured to celebrate I Read Canadian.
For more information, please contact and media enquiries:
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Children’s Book Centre