Celebrate Freedom to Read Week: February 18-24, 2024

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom. As of 2024, Freedom to Read Week entered a new phase led by Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, and the Ontario Library Association in partnership with the Book and Periodical Council.


We are pleased to announce a new partnership that marks a pivotal moment for the future of Freedom to Read Week.

In 2024, Freedom to Read Week will celebrate its 40th anniversary, representing 40 years of dedication to freedom of expression, a fundamental right of all Canadians. Freedom to Read Week, which annually raises awareness about censorship and access to books and magazines, has become a nationwide campaign uniting readers, writers, publishers, schools, libraries, bookstores, universities, colleges, and other organizations across Canada.

Since its inception, the Book and Periodical Council has been the driving force behind Freedom to Read Week. Along with dedicated volunteers, it has monitored freedom of expression in Canada, curated educational and thought-provoking content, distributed promotional materials, and promoted campaign events. In recent years, the campaign has grown substantially, both in size and significance. This growth has prompted a desire to broaden the campaign’s reach, deepen its impact, and create more long-term stability.

To propel Freedom to Read Week into its next chapter, four influential organizations—Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, the Ontario Library Association, and the Book and Periodical Council—have joined forces. Each organization brings to the table unique resources, expertise, and perspectives. Together, they will reinforce the campaign’s mission and drive continued growth in such areas as content creation and programming.

Read the full bilingual announcement on the Media Releases page.

As we look forward to celebrating Freedom to Read Week’s 40th anniversary, we recognize that the campaign’s mission is more crucial than ever. This partnership represents a collective dedication to the principles that lie at the heart of a vibrant and inclusive society. We hope you will join us.

Get Involved: Get Social, Plan an Event, DIY!

Champions of Free Expression

Bienvenue aux francophones!

Sur le présent site, vous trouverez les documents suivants :

■ une liste d’ouvrages en français traitant de la censure canadienne;

■ une étude bilingue des documents qui n’ont pu être importés au pays ou qui ont été référés à l’Unité des importations prohibées à Ottawa parce qu’ils étaient soupçonnés de constituer de la pornographie ou de la littérature haineuse entre 1985 et 2022;

■ une chronologie, divers essais et une compilation de 838 victimes de censure, ainsi que des 1589 titres diffusés en français qui leur ont valu des attaques depuis 1625 au Canada ― l’écrivain Charles Montpetit, lui-même frappé de maintes interdictions, relate les faits saillants entourant chacun de ces cas, et invite le public à lui signaler d’autres incidents en prévision d’éventuelles mises à jour.

…et bien plus à venir!

Challenges to the Written Word

Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border, and schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read. See our Challenged Works section for the real story on censorship in Canada.

Land Acknowledgement

The Book and Periodical Council (BPC) would like to acknowledge the sacred land upon which we operate. Toronto, known as Tkaronto, is the traditional territory of the Anishnabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron Wendat, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, who remain the current treaty holders. This territory is subject to the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement that was originally established between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Anishnabek Nations to peaceably and responsibly care for the lands and waters of the Great Lakes Region. The tenets of this agreement still hold today and require our ongoing commitment to the land and one another. The meeting place of Tkaronto continues to be home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities from across Turtle Island and the Book and Periodical Council is grateful to meet and work in this community, and on this territory.