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In Conversation


The goal of Freedom to Read Week is to spark conversation, but our hope is that these important dialogues will continue year-round.

From podcasts to panels to poetry readings, here are just a few conversations about free expression that have been hosted and archived by organizations across Canada. We hope they will be used to guide, inform and encourage conversation.

You can find the links below, but don’t wait — some events and media will only be available for a limited time.

The League of Canadian Poets Freedom to Read Week: Celebrating Indigenous Languages

The LCP is excited to welcome Emily Riddle as the moderator of a Freedom to Read Week event celebrating the beauty, resilience, and potent power of Indigenous languages in Canada. With this event, we honour the right to read, write, and enjoy Indigenous languages in the land settlers call Canada. Featuring poets and panelists Ashley Qilavaq-Savard, Selina Boan and Matthew James Weigel, who will guide a discussion on the importance of embodying the reclamation of a forcibly removed language, the power of being able to read, write, publish, and speak in one’s own language, and the necessity of being able to access materials in one’s own language. This event is 45 minutes along.

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The Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Week: In Conversation with David A. Robertson

Hosted by award-winning Syrian-Canadian author, Danny Ramadan and featuring 2021 Freedom to Read award recipient David A. Robertson. This webinar is approximately 60 minutes, including a Q&A period. Closed captioning is available. TWUC members who are unable to attend will have access to a recording of the webinar for a limited time.

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CANSCAIP Freedom to Read Week Panel

CANSCAIP’s Freedom to Read Week online panel focuses on challenges to Canadian kids books and authors. The panelists are authors Christine Baldacchino, David Alexander Robertson and Robin Stevenson, with teacher-librarian Jonelle St. Aubyn moderating the panel. Opening remarks by Peter Carver, editor for 20 years of the Freedom to Read magazine.

OLA School Library Panel: Freedom to Read Week

How do libraries ensure kids have access to the right books? How should library experts be centered in the conversation? How are library experts removed from the conversation? A lively discussion with authors and school library staff about school libraries and the books they hold.

Edmonton Public Library Overdue Finds Podcast: Banned Books

Overdue Finds gets ready for Freedom to Read Week! Hosts Bryce and Caroline are joined by librarians Ilona Storie and Andrew Halberstadt to talk about intellectual freedom, the role of public libraries, and how the library responds to challenges. Plus: The Great Antonio, a classic Batman, and a controversial question that threatens to divide the podcast forever – does pineapple belong on pizza?

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Edmonton Public Library: A Conversation with Lawrence Hill

Upholding the community’s right to read is a year-round responsibility at libraries. Books are challenged and even banned in Canada and around the world. Internationally acclaimed author, Lawrence Hill, discusses how his own writing was challenged and shares some of his favourite banned books. A reading list of mentioned titles is included in the video’s comments.

Writers Guild of Alberta Freedom to Read Week Panel

Led by host Benjamin Dugdale, this conversation on the importance of freedom to read features authors Ms. Ifeoma Chinwuba (UofA WiR) , Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and Theresa Shea. Thank you to Shelf Life Books for hosting this and other events in partnership with the WGA.

League of Canadian Poets

A panel on the joys, difficulties, accomplishments and obstacles of creating art as Black writers. With this event, we honor and celebrate the freedom to read, write, and share the rich and complex stories of Black writers in Canada. Moderator Brandon Wint led panelists Bertrand Bickersteth and Terese Mason Pierre through a discussion of how identity finds its way into writing, and how that transforms into what readers take from a poem, story, novel, or essay—and the various factors that can influence that transformation.

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Chinook Regional Library Freedom to Read Week: Carla Harris Reading

Join poet and Disabled activist Carla Harris as she reads a selection of her work, and discusses her creative practice and lived experiences with the audience.