Canada Reads 2020

About the Show

The CANADA READS debates took take place from July 20–23, 2020, following its postponement in March due to COVID-19.

CBC Laugh Out Loud’s Ali Hassan returned for his fourth year as host of CANADA READS, moderating a debate between five high-profile Canadian panellists. Each defender championed a Canadian book that speaks to the theme, “One Book to Bring Canada Into Focus.”

Defending this year’s contenders in CBC’s annual battle of the books were: NBA TV host, Akil Augustine; Workin’ Moms and The Handmaid’s Tale actor, Amanda Brugel; Country music singer, George Canyon; YouTube creator and LGBTQ2+ advocate, Alayna Fender; and Letterkenny actor, Kaniehtiio Horn.

The final five books defended by the CANADA READS 2020 panellists were:

*From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle, defended by George Canyon

*Radicalized by Cory Doctorow, defended by Akil Augustine

*Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles, defended by Alayna Fender

*Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, defended by Kaniehtiio Horn

*We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, defended by Amanda Brugel

THE DEBATES #CanadaReads

The opening round of CANADA READS, the annual battle of the books, kicked off July 20, 2020.

The Day One debate touched on themes such as racial harmony, gender dynamics, social inequality and class division. After one hour of debate, the five panellists voted one book off the show; Radicalized by Cory Doctorow, defended by Akil Augustine.

Day Two featured some tense exchanges between the panelists, a close final vote, and some emotional closing words by the defender. In the end, another great Canadian book was taken out of contention; From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle, defended by George Canyon.

On Day Three, after sharing high praise for the book and author, all panelists except for the book’s own defender voted to eliminate Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles, defended by Alayna Fender.

Going into the finale, it was down to Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, defended by Kaniehtiio Horn vs. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, defended by Amanda Brugel. 

The final votes have been cast, and the latest must-read book for all Canadians has been named. After four days of passionate debate, this year marks the first time a book written by a woman has won with a female defender.

And the winner is... We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib, defended by Amanda Brugel.

Canada Reads 2020 plus special episodes are available on the CBC Listen App. 

Find CANADA READS online: 

CBC.ca/books | facebook.com/CBCBooks | @CBCBooks | #canadareads

Photos

Program Name

Canada Reads 2020

Program Type

Radio

Appears On

Specials and Award Shows

Genre

Arts & Entertainment

Bios

Ali Hassan

Host | Canada Reads
Host | Laugh Out Loud

Press Releases

CBC’S CANADA READS 2020 RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 20–23 WITH THE THEME ‘ONE BOOK TO BRING CANADA INTO

CBC’S CANADA READS 2020 RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 20–23 WITH THE THEME ‘ONE BOOK TO BRING CANADA INTO

CBC today announced that the public broadcaster’s beloved annual battle of the books, CANADA READS 2020, will convene Monday, July 20 to Thursday, July 23, following its postponement in March due to COVID-19. Read More »

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY DEFENDERS AND SHORTLISTED TITLES

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY DEFENDERS AND SHORTLISTED TITLES

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BY CHANCE ALONE BY MAX EISEN WINS CANADA READS 2019

BY CHANCE ALONE BY MAX EISEN WINS CANADA READS 2019

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CHUCK COMEAU, LISA RAY, ZIYA TONG, YANIC TRUESDALE AND JOE ZEE ARE THE CELEBRITY PANELLISTS FOR CANA

CHUCK COMEAU, LISA RAY, ZIYA TONG, YANIC TRUESDALE AND JOE ZEE ARE THE CELEBRITY PANELLISTS FOR CANA

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CBC Books has announced the CANADA READS 2019 longlist of 15 books that speak to the theme of “one book to move you.” Spanning separations and reconciliations, wars of the past and present, personal histories and imagined futures, these titles will disturb and disrupt, inspire and incite, and move readers to feel, to think and to act. Read More »

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CBC PARTNERS WITH DON CARMODY TELEVISION TO DEVELOP ADAPTATION OF 2018 CANADA READS WINNER FORGIVENE

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CBC has partnered with Don Carmody Television (DCTV) to develop a scripted adaptation of the 2018 Canada Reads-winning book, Forgiveness, written by Mark Sakamoto. Read More »

FORGIVENESS BY MARK SAKAMOTO WINS CANADA READS 2018

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Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto has won CANADA READS 2018. Forgiveness was championed by media personality Jeanne Beker, and was chosen by the five celebrity panellists as the book for Canadians to read in 2018. Read More »

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE FIVE SHORTLISTED TITLES IN THIS YEAR’S BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE FIVE SHORTLISTED TITLES IN THIS YEAR’S BATTLE OF THE BOOKS

CBC today announced the 2018 CANADA READS panellists and their chosen books. Read More »

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Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis has won CANADA READS 2017. Fifteen Dogs was championed by spoken word artist and emcee Humble The Poet, and was chosen by the five celebrity panellists as the book Canada needs to read in 2017. Read More »

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HUMBLE THE POET, CHANTAL KREVIAZUK, JODY MITIC,  CANDY PALMATER AND TAMARA TAYLOR ARE THE CELEBRITY

CBC today announced the 2017 CANADA READS panellists and their chosen books. Read More »

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES CANADA READS 2017 THEME, HOST AND LONGLIST

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES CANADA READS 2017 THEME, HOST AND LONGLIST

CBC Books today announced the Canada Reads 2017 longlist of 15 books. Debating the question, “What is the one book Canadians need now?” Canada Reads 2017 is looking at stories that help us explore the diverse perspectives that make this nation what it is today, and to reflect on where we’re heading. Read More »

THE ILLEGAL BY LAWRENCE HILL WINS CANADA READS 2016

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Winning panellist Clara Hughes secures a second Canada Reads win for Lawrence Hill Read More »

ADAM “EDGE” COPELAND, CLARA HUGHES, FARAH MOHAMED, BRUCE POON TIP AND VINAY VIRMANI ARE THE CELEBRI

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This morning on q, CBC Radio One’s daily arts, culture and entertainment program, Shad announced the CANADA READS panellists and their chosen books. Read More »

CBC BOOKS ANNOUNCES CANADA READS 2016 THEME, HOST AND LONGLIST

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CAMERON BAILEY, CRAIG KIELBURGER, KRISTIN KREUK, ELAINE “LAINEY” LUI AND MARTHA WAINWRIGHT ARE THE C

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Program Name

Canada Reads 2020

Program Type

Radio

Appears On

Specials and Award Shows

Genre

Arts & Entertainment

Bios

Ali Hassan

Host | Canada Reads
Host | Laugh Out Loud