The long list for the National Business Book Award, one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards, was announced today by co-sponsors PwC Canada and BMO Financial Group. The long list authors will vie for a $30,000 prize that will be awarded on April 24, 2017, to the author of the most outstanding Canadian business- related book published in 2016.
This year’s submissions cover a range of topics that reflect the conversations that are going on in Canadian businesses including family business, leadership, the proliferation of misinformation, the economy and technology. The independent jury evaluates eligible nominations based on five key criteria including originality, relevance, excellence of writing, thoroughness of research and depth of analysis.
The long list for the National Business Book Award is:
- Frank Appleton, Brewing Revolution: Pioneering the Craft Beer Movement, published by Harbour Publishing. The inspirational story behind today’s rise of Canada’s micro-brew business is the subject of this memoir by Frank Appleton, the brewmaster considered by many to be the father of Canada’s craft-brewing movement. Appleton accounts fifty years in the brewing business, from his early years to his part in establishing the first cottage brewery in Canada, to a current look at the craft-beer industry in an ever more competitive market.
- Charles Bronfman with Howard Green, Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Charles Bronfman reflects on his relationship with his parents, his brother Edgar, working in the family business, landing Canada’s first baseball franchise, the Montreal Expos, promoting the Canadian identity through Heritage Minutes and how the Bronfman family fractured over the sale of Seagram. Distilled is remarkably honest about that period and the subsequent corporate calamity that made headlines for several years.
- Daniel J. Levitin, A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, published by Allen Lane Canada (Penguin Random House Canada). Given the intense public conversation about the proliferation of “fake news” and the strategic use of misinformation, the topic of this book is relevant. How do we distinguish misinformation and outright lies from reliable information? Neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin reminds us that as people hunt and gather statistics and, by choosing what to count, how to go about counting and how to interpret what’s been counted, they reinforce their own biases. Ultimately, he shows how science is the bedrock of critical thinking.
- Greg Marquis, Truth and Honour: The Death of Richard Oland and the Trial of Dennis Oland, published by Nimbus Publishing. Truth and Honour explores the 2011 murder of Saint John businessman Richard Oland, of the prominent family that owns Moosehead Breweries, the ensuing police investigation and the arrest, trial, and conviction of the victim’s son, Dennis Oland, for second-degree murder. Truth and Honour tugs at the veil that shrouds one of the many influential family businesses that has shaped a regional, if not national, economy. Over its history, Canada has been powerfully influenced by family-controlled enterprises. And even when they become publicly traded, that internal dynamic is never fully transparent to outside stakeholders.
- Richard Saillant, A Tale of Two Countries: How the Great Demographic Imbalance is Pulling Canada Apart, published by Nimbus Publishing. A Tale of Two Countrieswades through numbers and facts to demonstrate the fundamental demographic chasm that is, in Richard Saillant’s view, threatening Canada and its economic future. As the uneven distribution of an aging population divides provinces, their agendas and political priorities will increasingly diverge based on their population profile. Saillant reaches some conclusions about possible solutions, but he ultimately concludes that we’re just going to have to get more inventive about addressing spending, taxation and economic growth.
- Don Tapscott & Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business and the World, published by Portfolio Canada. Don Tapscott, and his son, blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, bring us their conviction that blockchain heralds a revolution in the economy, business, regulation, society and politics. The blockchain system effectively cuts out the middleman, banks, brokers, credit card companies and allows people and organizations to deal directly with and to restore what has been steadily eroded in a wired world where no one is entirely certain of who they are dealing with. On the social front, the authors believe that blockchain has the ability to overhaul the delivery of humanitarian aid.
- Annette Verschuren with Eleanor Beaton, Bet On Me: Leading and Succeeding in Business and in Life, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. As co-founder of Michaels in Canada and past president of Home Depot in Canada and Asia, Annette Verschuren lays out her philosophy for what it takes to lead and succeed in today’s economy from having tenacity to the willingness to embrace risk and a steadfast commitment to remain true to yourself. Bet On Me begins with her personal story growing up on a Cape Breton dairy farm as a member of a large family of Dutch immigrants that provides the background for her practical approach to problem-solving, high threshold for risk and deep-rooted work ethic.
The National Business Book Award jury is chaired by Peter Mansbridge, Chief Correspondent, CBC Television News. Other jurors include: Deirdre McMurdy, Adjudicator; David Denison, businessman and Chair of Hydro One; author and publisher Anna Porter and The Honourable Pamela Wallin.
Celebrating its 32nd year, the National Business Book Award is an annual celebration of Canadian authors of extraordinary non-fiction business-related books. It continues to gain attention from not only the Canadian business world, but also publishers, authors, journalists, academics, economists and business leaders internationally.
The winner of the National Business Book Award will be announced on April 24, 2017 at an event in Toronto hosted by PwC Canada and BMO Financial Group.
Last year’s National Business Book Award winners were Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff for their book Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Blackberry.
About PwC Canada
At PwC Canada, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. More than 6,500 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 208,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $688 billion as of October 31, 2016, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.
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To arrange interviews, please contact:
Mary Ann Freedman
Freedman & Associates Inc. for the National Business Book Award