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From Human Rights to the Jian Ghomeshi Sex Scandal

abstract:Join Whistler Reads on Thursday March 16th at the Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) from 7-9:30 pm when we host two of Canada's prominent investigative journalists to discuss their latest books. Tickets/books here. Meet Alexandra Shimo and Kevin Donovan.

Kevin Donovan is an investigative reporter and editor at Toronto Star. He has won three National Newspaper Awards, two Michener Awards and three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. In 2014 his team broke the story on the Jian Ghomeshi sex scandal. His book on the subject, Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation (published by Gooselane Editions) covers the investigation and trial from start to finish.

Readers will recall Ghomeshi's public admission to a preference for "rough sex", claiming his partners were willing participants. Whistlerites will recall Jian Ghomeshi's visit to our fine town in 2012 to chat up that year's Giller Prize author at the local writers' fest. The most memorable thing to me was how fast his affable demeanor switched over to agitated annoyance when he noticed bottled water had been placed on the staging table between him and Will Fergusen. He stopped the program until a carafe of tap water was brought in, but not good enough, he wanted the offending bottled water removed from view and his presence! Everyone waited through the awkward moment and silently took note.

Later that year, the CBC's decision to fire their superstar host of their most popular program, "Q" for allegations of conduct unbecoming were followed by a subsequent criminal investigation with charges laid, and a sensational trial that resulted in his acquittal. This case created a lightning rod for debate. Kevin's talk will discuss how journalists operate in the murky waters when it is one person's word against another and how this issue compounds when a celebrity is implicated and when the justice system gets involved.

Joining Donovon is Alexandra Shimo, a former editor at MacLeans Magazine. Alexandra Shimo spent four months living in an isolated fly-in First Nations community in northern Ontario investigating an alleged water crisis that may have been fabricated. Inevitably, she becomes drawn into the daily life of the community and conditions on reserve---that of severe poverty, isolation, youth suicide at crises proportions, and other issues garnered from her very personal vantage, which results in PTSD and more. Readers will better understand why this book is so important when they...

article:

February 16, 2017
...hear the author speak, and when they read her fluid prose laced with undeniable facts. Invisible North: The Search for Answers on a Troubled Reserve was shortlisted for the Canadian National NonFiction Awards this year. I met Alexandra Shimo at the awards ceremony. Her British accent derives from growing up in the UK where she attended Oxford for her BA in politics, economics, and philosophy. She went on to acquire her MA in journalism from Columbia University. Her talk covering issues of human rights and Canada's policy and track record on indigenous issues on reserves will be a dramatic foil to her colleague Kevin Donovan who joins her on the stage this evening.

The event will be hosted at the beautiful Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. Arrive sharply for an opportunity to mingle with the authors (refreshments available via the cash bar). The discussion will be held in the SLCC's comfortable theatre. Advance tickets and both books are available for sale via Eventbrite. THIS EVENT & BOOKS WILL SELL OUT - PURCHASE TICKETS EARLY.

Whistler Reads is the village book group that has been operating for over a decade.

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