The business of books: DeGroote named as partner for Canada’s prestigious National Business Book Award

DSB Marketing and Community Engagement | Toronto | June 20, 2018

The National Business Book Award jury is chaired by Peter Mansbridge, former anchor of CBC’s The National, and includes Leonard Waverman, Dean, DeGroote School of Business.


Freedman & Associates has named the DeGroote School of Business as a new partner for the 2018 National Business Book Award, Canada’s most prestigious literary award for business writing.

DeGroote and the Toronto Region Board of Trade are now supporting partners, while The Globe and Mail and The Walrus are media partners. Joining longtime presenting partner BMO Financial Group is national business law firm Bennett Jones. The winner of the $30,000 prize will be revealed Oct. 2 during the award ceremony in Toronto.

As Canada’s leader in recognizing Canadian business writing for more than 33 years, the National Business Book Award is awarded annually to authors who present groundbreaking perspectives on Canadian business issues. The nominees are judged according to innovation, thought leadership, analytic abilities, depth of research, and relevant subject matter.

DeGroote’s own Gordon Pitts, Business Writer in Residence, received the prize in 2009 for his book Stampede! The Rise of the West and Canada’s New Power Elite, published by Key Porter Books. The book imagines a future for Canada where Alberta is the corporate and cultural kingpin, Ontario is on the ropes, and Quebec is almost irrelevant. Pitts worked as a business reporter at The Globe and Mail from 1992 to 2013 before joining the School.

Freedman & Associates has grown and managed the National Business Book Award for more than 30 years. “We are grateful to long-time presenting partner BMO Financial Group for continuing to support exceptional Canadian business writing,” says Mary Ann Freedman, President, Freedman & Associates Inc. “We extend this gratitude to Bennett Jones for joining BMO in presenting the award and helping shape the Canadian business-leadership landscape.”

The National Business Book Award jury is chaired by Peter Mansbridge, former anchor of CBC’s The National, and includes Leonard Waverman, Dean, DeGroote School of Business, among others. Mansbridge and actor Cynthia Dale, also his wife, received honorary degrees from McMaster during the DeGroote School of Business’ spring convocation in 2017.

“What makes the National Business Book Award incredibly fresh and relevant year after year is the dialogue it creates among business and literary leaders across Canada,” says Gino Scapillati, BCom ’81, Vice Chair, Strategy and Innovation, Bennett Jones. He received DeGroote’s Wayne C. Fox Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

“As advisors, our lawyers have a shared intellectual curiosity with the business community for innovative and thought-provoking perspectives. We look forward to celebrating the authors whose stories inspire and enlighten,” he continues.

“BMO is proud to continue our long-time support for Canada’s business writers,” says Catherine Roche, Head of Marketing and Strategy, BMO Financial Group. “Canada has great business writers who have a global perspective. This award highlights the issues, trends and analysis that the nominees bring to the table each year providing unparalleled value to Canada’s business environment.”

The National Business Book Award has consistently been a leader in spotting current and future Canadian and global business issues. Fake news, transformative technology, consumerism, the rise of social media, and blockchain are examples of the important topics and stories told over the history of the award. The authors are academics, journalists, and business people with loud voices who are telling stories demanding to be heard.

Last year’s recipient was Daniel J. Levitin for his book A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, published by Allen Lane Canada (Penguin Random House Canada). The book explores how in a world of “fake news” we can distinguish misinformation and outright lies from reliable information.

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