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Announcing Freedom to Read Week 2020: February 23-29

Events and activities across Canada celebrate freedom of expression, challenge censorship.

Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom. “The freedom to read and write is crucial to the health of the literary arts in Canada, and every year Freedom to Read Week brings to light how it can be, and often is, stifled,” say Michelle Arbuckle and Marg Anne Morrison, co-chairs of the Freedom of Expression Committee.

Toronto, February 15, 2020 — The Book and Periodical Council (BPC) and its Freedom of Expression Committee are pleased to announce the 36th annual Freedom to Read Week (FTRW) in Canada. A national celebration of free expression that takes place in libraries, schools and arts venues across Canada, this year’s program runs from February 23 to February 29.

Freedom to Read Week incorporates public readings, panel discussions, challenged book and magazine displays, and a resource guide for librarians and teachers. Events take place across the country in schools, libraries and community spaces from Vancouver and Perth-Andover to Whitehorse and Montreal and include banned-book clubs, art nights, readings and mugshots. These activities promote public engagement in communities across the country.

Highlights this year include the following:

  • The Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee will announce its 2020 Champion of Free Expression on February 24.
  • The Writers’ Union of Canada will announce its 2020 Freedom to Read Award winner on February 23.

A complete list of events and activities across Canada is available at freedomtoread.ca/events. It will be updated as new events are confirmed. We encourage event organizers to share their plans with Freedom to Read Week organizers through the same web page.

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 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.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information, visit freedomtoread.ca/sponsors-and-supporters.

About the Book and Periodical Council

The Book and Periodical Council (BPC) 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 thebpc.ca.