Jan 31, 2012

Celebrity panelists battle it out for four days to determine this year’s must-read Canadian non-fiction

CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES, Canada’s liveliest literary competition, takes centre stage on Feb. 6, 7, 8 and 9, moderated by Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s Q. Five celebrity panelists will duke it out in front of audiences at the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto: Arlene Dickinson of CBC’s Dragons’ Den; actor Alan Thicke; Juno Award-winning rapper Shad; supermodel Stacey McKenzie; and Anne-France Goldwater, star of Quebec’s reality-TV courtroom show l’Arbitre. At the end of each day’s live show, one title will be eliminated. The last book standing on February 9th will be named the non-fiction book for Canadians to read in 2012.

“This is the biggest year yet for Canada Reads, and we’re expecting some heated debates about these strikingly different non-fiction stories,” said Jian Ghomeshi. “These panelists are feisty! And they’re all passionate about their books. We are also excited that there are more ways than ever before to take in the action online, on radio and on TV.”

The CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES debates will air on CBC Radio One and Sirius 159, on CBC documentary Channel and be livestreamed as video on on February 6, 7, 8 and 9. This year, CANADA READS will also air on CBC TV for the first time, with an hour-long recap special on February 12.

How to catch this year’s debates:

February 6-9:

  • Live     video-streaming of the debates, with accompanying live chats, at 10 a.m.    ET on CBC Books
  • CBC     Radio One broadcast at 11 a.m. (11:30 a.m. NT), repeating at 8 p.m. (8:30     p.m. NT), and on Sirius 159 at 11 a.m., repeating at 4 p.m.
  • One-hour     television specials at 7:00 p.m. (7:30 NT) on CBC’s documentary channel,    repeated at midnight (12:30 NT).

February 10:

  • Jian     Ghomeshi will speak with the winning panelist and author on Q at 10 a.m. (10:30 NT). This interview will also be available on CBC Books.

February 11:

  • A special     radio recap airs on CBC Radio One at 4 p.m. (4:30 NT) and on Sirius     Satellite Radio 159 at 2 p.m.

February 12:

  • A     special hour-long broadcast on CBC TV, presenting the highlights from this     year’s title fight, airs at 1 p.m. (1:30 NT) on the main network.

About this year’s CANADA READS: TRUE STORIES contenders:

Prisoner of Tehran is a searing account of Marina Nemat‘s imprisonment in Iran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and her escape to Canada in 1991. An international bestseller, the book will be defended by Arlene Dickinson.

The Tiger, by John Vaillant, recounts the story of a man-eating Siberian tiger terrorizing the residents of a remote Russian village. The internationally acclaimed book will be defended by Anne-France Goldwater.

Written by former Rheostatics guitarist Dave Bidini, On a Cold Road is a chronicle of the musician’s cross-Canada touring experiences in the late 1990s. Bidini’s first book will be defended by Stacey McKenzie.

Published last spring, Something Fierce is a coming-of-age memoir of Carmen Aguirre‘s teenage experiences in the Chilean resistance movement in the era of Augusto Pinochet. Already receiving rave reviews, the book will be defended by Shad.

Ken Dryden‘s The Game, one of the best sports books of all time, offers an insider’s look at Canada’s national pastime. Based on Dryden’s experiences as a goalie with the legendary 1979 Montreal Canadiens team, the memoir will be defended by Alan Thicke.

About CBC Books
  CBC Books features all of CBC’s rich literary content across all platforms - audio, video and digital. This one-stop destination for book lovers and writers includes in-depth information on books,  exclusive interviews with authors, the latest news stories from the publishing world, book reviews, best-seller lists, discussions and blogs. It’s an online meeting place where literary enthusiasts can find the books they want to read,  share their writing and connect with other Canadians who love to read and write as much as they do, while keeping up with all of CBC’s major literary events and programs such as Canada Reads, the Massey Lectures and Canada Writes. Visit us at


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, plus seven languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada celebrated 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

For further information contact:
  Jess Bennett
  Veritas Communications
(416) 955-4584