TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2020 – The finalists for the 2020 National Business Book Award (NBBA), one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards, were announced today by presenting sponsors, law firm Bennett Jones LLP and entrepreneur and philanthropist Miles S. Nadal. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the $30,000 prize will be presented to the author demonstrating the most outstanding Canadian business-related writing, research and originality on November 18, 2020.
NBBA finalists have consistently been recognized as leaders in spotting emerging business issues and trends in Canada and globally. Though this year’s books were published in 2019, long before the disruption and uncertainties of the pandemic, the topics remain timely. The 35th anniversary finalists provide reflection and insight on an array of topics including trade union development, cause-related marketing, the state of Sino-Canadian relations, and the reinvention of a business.
The 2020 NBBA finalists are:
Andrea Benoit, Viva MˑAˑC: AIDS, Fashion, and the Philanthropic Practices of MˑAˑC Cosmetics
- Published by University of Toronto Press, Benoit recounts the history of Canadian cosmetics company MˑAˑC (Make-up Art Centre) founded by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. Thoroughly researched, Benoit explains how MˑAˑC ‘s inclusive corporate social responsibility efforts emerged from authentic cultural practices. A true pioneer in the intersection of social causes and consumerism, MˑAˑC made its mark as an outlier in a business long-dominated by multinational corporations.
Arlene Dickinson, Reinvention: Changing Your Life, Your Career, Your Future
- Published by HarperCollins Publishers, Dickinson has developed a blueprint for anyone embarking on a new career path and setting new goals and metrics for success. Combining a personal memoir with practical guidance, Dickinson shares the story of how she successfully re-built her business. She breaks down how to apply key business principles to personal situations in a step-by-step plan to tackle reinvention in an age of uncertainty.
Wendy Dobson, Living with China: A Middle Power Finds Its Way.
- Published by University of Toronto Press, Dobson advocates for Canada’s adoption of a new Canada–China strategy. She builds the case for more top-line leadership, strengthening of international human capital, addressing security issues and negotiating bilateral trade and investment liberalization. At a time of historic geo-political shifts, Sino-Canadian relations continue to evolve and Dobson frames a new Canadian strategy. She was named an NBBA finalist in 2010 for Gravity Shift: How Asia’s New Economic Powerhouses Will Shape the 21st Century.
John Stefanini, More Than We Bargained For: An Untold Story of Exploitation, Redemption, and The Men Who Built A Worker’s Empire.
- Published by Sutherland House Books, Stefanini’s autobiographical immigrant tale tracks his arrival in Canada in 1959 through his career as a construction industry union organizer in the early days of a Toronto building boom. Stefanini recounts the foundational agreements that set wage and workplace standards for generations of construction workers. As labour unions reposition themselves in a technology-driven “gig economy”, these lessons of the past still resonate.
The 2020 NBBA winner is selected by an independent jury which evaluates each submission based on originality, relevance, excellence of writing, thoroughness of research and depth of analysis. The jury is chaired by Peter Mansbridge and includes Leonard Waverman, Dean of DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University; Deirdre McMurdy, Adjudicator; David Denison, corporate director; author and publisher Anna Porter and Senator Pamela Wallin.
To mark its 35th anniversary, the NBBA is featuring a retrospective of Canada’s best business authors and their books on social media (@NBBAward). Past winners include federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Daniel Levitin, Jacquie McNish, Gordon Pitts and Naomi Klein. For the full list of past winners, visit: www.nbbaward.com.
Supporting partners for the NBBA are DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University and business leader Stephen J.R. Smith. Media partners are The Globe and Mail, The Walrus and Manscorp Media Services.