Canada Reads 2017 Starts Today

Canada Reads 2017 Defenders

Let the competition begin!

Canada Reads 2017 starts today, in a few short hours (11:00 a.m. Eastern, that means 12:00 p.m. Atlantic Canada, 12:30 in Newfoundland, 8:00 a.m. on the West coast. Check your local listings for other areas), and I’m excited about it.

You can watch it live online at the CBC Books site though I think the CBC site for streaming may possibly be country specific, meaning if you are not watching from Canada, you may not be able to watch the video on CBC’s site. They will also be streaming on YouTube and on their Facebook page. (see next paragraph for links) If you can’t watch the video, you should be able to listen to it via podcast. Here’s a link to CBC radio podcasts and one to iTunes.

To Watch: The links for today’s episode are here. The links will change each day and soon after the live episode, the video will be available for replay. CBC will also air it on television at 4 p.m. local time (in most of the various time zones across Canada, adding a half hour for Newfoundland 4:30 p.m.)

I may not get a chance to listen live during my lunch hour but I have the dvr set to record so I can watch when I get home later, just in case. I plan to blog notes on the daily competitions and post them the next morning.

The opening day doesn’t waffle around though there are initial introductions to the defenders, books and the competition. The defenders are always chosen with the idea that they should have very different voices from different aspects of society. They may be from the various arts, sports, political realms. They might be a journalist, a musician, an athlete, an actor. They need to be able to love the book they’ve chosen from a short list assigned to each of them and they need to read all the books chosen so that they can defend one and argue for others once theirs is voted out of the contest. They will be articulate and passionate.

This year’s defenders are:
Chantal Kreviazuk, singer/songwriter, defending The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Humble The Poet, rapper/spoken word artist, defending Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Measha Brueggergosman, opera singer, defending Company Town by Madeline Ashby
Candy Palmater, comedian/lawyer/broadcaster, defending The Break by Katherena Vermette
Jody Mitic, Armed Forces veteran, defending Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji

You can read more about them here. I’ve read all of the books (reviews linked in the above list) except The Right to be Cold and of the ones I’ve read, my favourite is The Break, with Company Town probably second favourite. It will be very interesting to hear the debates since the books are all so different. There are short trailers for each book here. 

Off to the races!

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