Freedom to Read Week Celebrates 30 Years

Events Across Canada Support Freedom of Expression, Challenge Censorship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (January 23, 2014) — The Book and Periodical Council and its Freedom of Expression Committee are delighted to announce the 30th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week. A national celebration of freedom of expression that takes place in libraries, schools and arts venues across Canada, this year’s program runs from February 23 to March 1, 2014.

Incorporating public readings and panel discussions, challenged book and magazine displays and a kit for librarians and educators, Freedom to Read Week encourages Canadians to express their views about censorship and the right to free speech and opinion.

“Thirty years since it began, Freedom to Read Week remains a vital — and vibrant — part of Canadians’ commitment to freedom of expression,” said Marg Anne Morrison, chair of the Freedom of Expression Committee. “We invite Canadians to celebrate their freedom to read, place challenges to that freedom under scrutiny, and join together in debating how such censorship affects us all.”

Freedom to Read Week 2013 saw more than 50 events take place in locations from Halifax to Vancouver, with speakers ranging from award-winning writers Yann Martell and Candace Savage to youth leaders and everyday readers. In 2014, attendees can participate in events including: discussions about national security and online surveillance, spoof how-to-ban-a-book seminars, readings from challenged books and magazines, and the presentation of three awards for work in the field of freedom of expression.

A complete list of events in locations across Canada is available at; it will be updated as new events are added. Event organizers are encouraged to share their plans with Freedom to Read Week organizers through the same web address.

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 Freedom of Expression 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.

Freedom to Read Week is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information, visit

About the Book and Periodical Council
The Book and Periodical Council is the umbrella organization for Canadian associations 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