Canada’s Freedom to Read Week: February 21–27, 2021

Toronto, February 19, 2021 — The Book and Periodical Council and its Freedom of Expression Committee are pleased to announce the 37th annual Freedom to Read Week (FTRW) in Canada. This year’s program runs from February 21 to February 27 as a largely virtual celebration in libraries, schools and homes across the country.

Freedom to Read Week traditionally incorporates public readings, panel discussions, challenged book and magazine displays, and a resource guide for librarians and teachers. This year will look a little different to keep everyone safe and follow public health guidelines during  the COVID-19 pandemic. During these uncertain times, we must continue to be vigilant about our rights and freedoms in all aspects of our daily lives.

Whether for entertainment or education, 58% of Canadians report reading more during the pandemic. “The freedom to read and to choose what we want to read continues to be crucial to both our health as individuals and as a society,” says Michelle Arbuckle, co-chair of the Freedom of Expression Committee. 

Here are things to keep an eye out for:

  • The Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee will announce its 2021 Champion of Free Expression on February 24.
  • The Writers’ Union of Canada will announce its 2021 Freedom to Read Award winner the week before FTRW.

A variety of resources, articles, visuals and more appear on the new Freedom to Read website at www.freedomtoread.ca. Visit the Events page to view virtual activities during FTRW 2021, and be sure to submit your own. Join our social media channels at #FTRWeek and #FreedomtoRead to join the discussion.

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 all of our sponsors and supporters. For more information, visit https://www.freedomtoread.ca/freedom-to-read-week/sponsors-and-supporters/.

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 www.theBPC.ca.