Canada Reads author Dave Bidini performs with the BidiniBand at the Toronto Reference Library (Photo: Tanja-Tiziana Burdi)
Although the book was overshadowed all week by discussion about the other four titles, On a Cold Road‘s demise was met with an emotional response. During a post-show Q&A, celebrity defender Stacey McKenzie broke down while reading a passage from the book in which Bidini’s hardworking band, the Rheostatics, fulfills a dream of performing at Maple Leaf Gardens.
While the panelists were on their best behaviour today, this morning Q&Q received a press release from Gabriel Fritzen, a German-Canadian who is demanding an apology from panelist Anne-France Goldwater and the CBC for “libelling survivors of Iran’s holocaust,” after Goldwater suggested on Monday’s show that Marina Nemat’s memoir, The Prisoner of Tehran, was not a truthful account of her experiences in an Iranian prison.
Fritzen, who lives near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps in Northern Germany, is supporting Nemat by inviting a group of high school students and teaching staff from Aurora, Ontario, to attend a live taping of Canada Reads at his expense, and by attending the event himself carrying a poster of Nemat. “I owe it to the memory of those who were brutally murdered an hour’s drive from my home to show tangible support to the victims of the ongoing holocaust in Iran like Ms. Nemat,” Fritzen writes.
Tomorrow is the final day of what has become the most controversial edition of Canada Reads, which has been airing annually since 2002. Actor Alan Thicke will play defense for Ken Dryden’s The Game against hip-hop artist Shad, who is representing Carmen Aguirre’s Something Fierce.