Freedom to Read Week 2012 (February 28 to March 3)

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.

Celebrate freedom of expression by participating in one of the many events taking place across Canada.

Sunday, February 26, 2012 (Winnipeg, MB)

Reading of Banned Texts
The Manitoba Writers’ Guild will be hosting an afternoon of readings from banned texts. If you are interested in participating by giving a ten-minute reading from a banned text, please contact us. Free. 1-5 pm. Millennium Library, 251 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact: The Manitoba Writers’ Guild at 204-944-8013 or

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 (Toronto, ON)*

Censored Then and Now: The Politics of News Media from WWII to the Digital Age
An official BPC Freedom to Read Week event: journalist/author Mark Bourrie (The Fog of War) in conversation with author/activist Susan Swan (The Wives of Bath) about the past and present of political censorship in the Canadian news media censorship. Free. 6-8 pm. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON.
Contact: Book and Periodical Council at

* The evening will also feature the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Freedom to Read Award presented by the Writers’ Union of Canada.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (Calgary, AB)

Freedom to Read Week Presentation
Join the Writers Guild of Alberta and WordFest to celebrate Freedom to Read Week with a special presentation from Richard Wagamese, one of Canada’s foremost Native authors and storytellers, followed by an in-conversation segment with award-winning journalist Val Fortney on the internal and external factors of censorship that writers deal with today. Free. 7-10 pm. Venue TBA, Calgary, AB.
Contact: Mary Kapusta, WordFest Marketing Manager at 403-237-9068 or

Thursday, March 1, 2012 (Edmonton, AB)

A Conversation with Novelist Greg Hollingshead and Edmonton Journal Columnist Paula Simons
Renowned author Greg Hollingshead joins one of his former writing students and Edmonton Journal columnist Paula Simons for a conversation on her experiences as a local journalist who has received both acclaim and criticism for her columns. The two literary personalities will also discuss how Freedom to Read Week is connected with freedom of expression, as well as challenges both novelists and journalists face once their work is published. There will be time reserved for questions and socializing at the end of the discussion. Presented by the Canadian Literature Centre and the Writers Guild of Alberta. Please RSVP to Free. 7-9 pm. Telus Centre, Room 134, 111 Street and 87 Avenue, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.

Friday, March 2, 2012 (Toronto, ON)

Right Angles: Freedom of Expression and the Conservative Mind — PEN Canada Panel Discussion
Does mainstream media have a liberal bias? Does polarized news coverage help or harm the public sphere? Has the rise of conservative media given voice to a silenced group, or made the discussion of general subjects unnecessarily adversarial? Join PEN Canada and panelists, David Akin, Barbara Kay, Christopher Hume and Marci McDonald for what will be a lively discussion. Moderated by John Lorinc. $10 suggested donation (at the door). 7-9 pm (doors open at 6:30). Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON.

For a list of updated events, please visit the Freedom to Read website at Futhermore, if you are planning a Freedom to Read event in your area and would like it listed on the Freedom to Read website, please email and be sure to include the following information: title of event, description, date and time, location (address, city, province), cost, contact information and website URL.

Please note: This is not a program of the CCBC. Any questions you have regarding Freedom To Read Week should be directed to Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council at