ADAM "EDGE" COPELAND, CLARA HUGHES, FARAH MOHAMED, BRUCE POON TIP AND VINAY VIRMANI ARE THE CELEBRITY PANELLISTS FOR CANADA READS 2016

Jan 20, 2016

CBC Books announces the five shortlisted titles in this year’s battle of the books

This morning on q, CBC Radio One’s daily arts, culture and entertainment program, Shad announced the CANADA READS panellists and their chosen books. The celebrity panellists defending this year’s contending titles are: actor and wrestler   Adam “Edge” Copeland; Olympian and humanitarian Clara Hughes; social entrepreneur Farah Mohamed; entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip; and actor and writer Vinay   Virmani.

  The panellists and the final five books for CANADA READS 2016 are:

● Adam “Edge” Copeland defends Minister Without Portfolio  by Michael Winter (Penguin Canada)

● Clara Hughes defends The Illegal by Lawrence Hill (HarperCollins) 

  ● Farah Mohamed defends Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz (House of   Anansi Press)

  ● Bruce Poon Tip defends Birdie by Tracey Lindberg (HarperCollins)

● Vinay Virmani defends The Hero’s Walk  by Anita Rau Badami (Vintage Canada)

 

  Author Wab Kinew returns as host for the 15th edition of CANADA READS. This year’s title fight takes on the theme “Starting Over,”   exploring five novels of transformation and second chances through stories of migrants, immigrants and others who are choosing - or forced - to make major   changes in their lives.

  The panellists will determine Canada’s must-read title for 2016 during four, hour-long, live CANADA READS debates which will play out in front of audiences   in Toronto from March 21-24, 2016. Each day of the competition, one book will be eliminated by the panellists, until the winner is chosen as the must-read   book for Canadians in 2016. The debates will be broadcast each day on CBC Radio One at 11 a.m./1:30 p.m. NT (repeating 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT), on CBC-TV at 4   p.m. /4:30 p.m. NT and live streamed online at CBCbooks.ca at 10 a.m. ET.

  CBC Books is pleased to announce that         Indigo Books & Music     is returning for a second year as a sponsor of CANADA READS. In addition, this year’s publishers are continuing the CANADA READS tradition of supporting   reading by donating the winning book to select libraries. The winning publisher will also make a financial donation to Frontier College’s Aboriginal Summer   Literacy Camps for First Nation, Métis and Inuit children across Canada, which helps address the educational needs of children in remote communities during   the summer months.

  Each year, the shortlisted CANADA READS books see a significant rise in sales, and the winning book stays on bestseller lists for months. In 2015, for the   first time, all five shortlisted titles appeared on Canadian bestseller lists in the weeks leading up to the debates.

  Notable past winners include Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, which went on to become the top-selling Canadian book of the year in 2014;  The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis, which began as a self-published book and won CANADA READS in 2011;  The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, the 2009 winner, which was broadcast as a mini-series on CBC-TV in early 2015; and 2007’s winner   Lullabies for Little Criminals by   Heather O’Neill, a debut novel that became an international bestseller.

  For videos, interviews and all the latest on CBC’s annual title fight, visit CBC Books. Follow   along with all the excitement online at @cbcbooks and hashtag #CanadaReads.

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  About the Books:

 

  Birdie   by Tracey Lindberg (fiction/HarperCollins)

Bernice Meetoos, a Cree woman, leaves her home in northern Alberta to gain a better understanding of the messages on the television show   The Frugal Gourmet and hoping to meet Jesse from The Beachcombers. Her adventure doesn’t quite turn out as she hopes it will. A darkly   comic debut novel about finding out who you are and where you’re from.  
 

  Bone and Bread   by Saleema Nawaz (fiction/House of Anansi Press)

  In this debut novel, two sisters are raised in Montreal by their traditional Sikh uncle, who takes them in after the death of their parents. They come of   age in a clash of cultures, values and traditions and face intense personal struggles (anorexia for one, a teenage pregnancy for the other). When one   sister dies unexpectedly at the age of 32, the other is left to discover the truth about her family, her sister’s death and herself.  
 

  The Hero’s Walk         by Anita Rau Badami (fiction/Vintage Canada)      
 
  Sripathi Rao, the protagonist of Anita Rau Badami’s second novel, is an ordinary, middle-aged man whose career and family have failed to meet his   expectations. But when his daughter and her husband are suddenly killed in a car crash, his world is turned upside down. Set in Vancouver and in a small   town in the Bay of Bengal during a time of cultural change, The Hero’s Walk is a lyrical, affecting story about the complexity of family ties.

  The Illegal   by Lawrence Hill (fiction/HarperCollins)

  The Illegal   is the thrilling story of Keita Ali, a runner desperate to flee his homeland, Zantoroland. He agrees to run the Boston marathon in the hopes that the   winnings that come from placing will help him start a new life. But when he fails to place, he decides to go on the run - and goes into hiding in a place   known as Freedom State, where his presence is illegal and he must keep moving in order to survive.

  Minister Without Portfolio   by Michael Winter (fiction/Penguin Canada)

  Henry Hayward is a man from St. John’s looking to put his life back together after a difficult breakup. He goes to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor   working with the military and witnesses the death of his best friend in a suicide bombing. Next comes dangerous work in the Alberta oilfields. A move to an   outport village and a new relationship are his chance to start afresh.

 

  About the Panellists

  Adam Copeland, formerly known as WWE Superstar Edge, is an actor and retired professional wrestler who was one of the leads in the popular television series   Haven for Syfy. Raised in Orangeville, Ontario, Adam’s life in wrestling spanned two decades: through his long and decorated career as Edge, he   entertained millions of fans internationally while winning 31 championships overall in WWE - the most by any wrestler ever - including 11 world heavyweight   championships. He became the youngest wrestler ever inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March, 2012. As an actor, Adam will next be seen as a formidable   enemy in the season two premiere of the hit series The Flash. Copeland also stars as the lead of Interrogation for Lionsgate, appeared in   an installment of the popular film franchise Highlander: Endgame, and also starred in the WWE-produced Bending The Rules, opposite Jamie Kennedy. His TV appearances include a recurring guest arc on Sanctuary, and numerous appearances as Edge in shows such as   Clash Time, The Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal Or No Deal and MADtv. He received a 2015 nomination for Best Actor in the first   annual Golden Maple Awards, celebrating Canadian performers working in the USA. Copeland’s autobiography, Adam Copeland on Edge, was a New York   Times bestseller. He lives in the mountains of Asheville, NC.

  Six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes became the only athlete to win multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter Games. After winning   gold in 2006, Hughes donated $10,000 to Right to Play programs and challenged Canadians to support the cause of using sport for development. In 2010, she   donated her $10,000 medal bonus to the Vancouver inner-city school program, Take a Hike. Clara was given the great honor of being the Canadian Flag Bearer   for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, proudly leading the home team to its historic medal winning performance. Clara is a member of the Order of Manitoba   and an officer of the Order of Canada, has received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. She also holds   honorary doctorates from various Canadian Universities, and has been awarded the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious Sport and Community award   for her commitment to promoting the values of sport and play around the world. Clara is the national spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk initiative.   By sharing her past struggles with depression, she has helped break down the stigma associated with mental illness. In 2014, Clara was awarded the   Meritorious Service Cross, which recognizes those whose outstanding personal commitment has brought honour to Canada. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.

  Farah Mohamed   was born in Uganda, and moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, at the age of two. Of Indian descent, her family was expelled along with many other   Asian-Ugandans by then-dictator Idi Amin. She is an award-winning social profit entrepreneur, and an expert in communications, partnerships, government   relations and female labour force participation. Farah is known for her political acumen, strategic advice and ability to connect people. Farah has served   as a senior political aide for the Honourable Anne McLellan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and the Honourable Paddy Torsney, Member of Parliament   for Burlington, Ontario. After leaving politics, Farah worked with VON Canada and then created The Belinda Stronach Foundation and served as its Inaugural   President. Today she is the CEO of the globally active social profit enterprise, G(irls)20. Recognized for her service to Canada, she was awarded with a   Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She has also been recognized for her work to empower girls and women by BBC (Top 100 Women), Women of Influence   (Top 25 Most Influential Women in Canada), SALT (100 Most Inspiring Women in the World), EY (Nominee for Social Entrepreneur of the Year) and Diversity 50   (Canadian Board Diversity Council). Farah is a current contributor to Huffington Post and is a former weekly columnist with The Globe and Mail. She lives   in Toronto.

 

  Bruce Poon Tip   was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and moved to Calgary at age three. He studied business and tourism and then took a transformational backpacking trip   to Asia. He started G Adventures at the age of 22 with the goal of creating sustainable travel experiences. Since then, G Adventures has become the largest adventure travel company in the world. In 2003, he founded Planeterra, an NGO that supports international communities by harnessing the   power of the tourism industry. Bruce has spoken at various TED conferences, as well as at the Business Leaders’ Forum at the United Nation’s World Tourism   Organization Seminar on Ethics in Tourism, the UNWTO Conference on Climate Change and Tourism in Switzerland and the UN World Tourism Forum for Peace and   Sustainable Development. Bruce’s first book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business (2013), became an international bestseller and was the first business book to be endorsed by the Dalai Lama, who also wrote the foreword for the book. His second book,  Do Big Small Things (2015), is a journal that invites readers to share their own inspiration and creativity. In 2013, he was awarded a Queen   Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Bruce lives in Toronto.

  Vinay Virmani   was born and raised in Toronto, the son of parents who emigrated from India. His mother tongue is Punjabi. After graduating in business from York University, Vinay studied filmmaking and theatre at New York’s prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute. He wrote and starred in the hockey comedy   Breakaway (2011), followed by the highly successful Dr. Cabbie (2014), where he was writer, lead actor and producer. Dr. Cabbie   broke the Canadian record for audience numbers on opening day. He’ll be seen next in Andrew Currie’s The Steps, which premiered at TIFF in 2015.   Vinay has travelled the country with Reel Canada, screening his films to students and recent immigrants studying English. Vinay’s passions include   motivating students, and promoting social causes through his charity, Heroes 4 Humanity. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

 

  About Wab Kinew

  Wab Kinew is the author of the national #1 bestseller The Reason You Walk, an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation that opens a wider conversation about the future of Aboriginal peoples.  The Reason You Walk, is on the longlist for the 2016 RBC Taylor prize for   excellence in literary non-fiction.

  About CBC Books

  Home to Canada Reads, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, Canada Writes and the CBC Literary Prizes, CBC   Books brings together literary enthusiasts to find books they want to read and to connect with other Canadians who love to read and write. For book news,   writing challenges, reading lists, book recommendations and more, visit www.cbcbooks.ca.

        About CBC/Radio-Canada      
 
  CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on   new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions,   CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight aboriginal languages.

  A space for us all   is CBC/Radio-Canada’s new strategy to modernize the public broadcaster and ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate for Canadians and for future   generations. Through to 2020, it will increase its investment in prime time television programming, and continue to create radio programs of the highest   quality, while promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content.

For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre atcbc.ca/mediacentre.

For further information, contact:

  Nicola Makoway
 

  Publicist, CBC Radio

  nicola.makoway@cbc.ca

  416-205-7673