Public Values

Canada's small literary publishers denied funding under new rules

New, annual sales-based restrictions would "cripple or kill" venerable publications.

Heritage Minister James MooreOTTAWA, March 11, 2009 — A coalition of Canadian poetry journals, fiction magazines and other literary publications with deep roots in the CanLit landscape is decrying new federal rules that would exclude such small-circulation titles as the University of Victoria-based Malahat Review and Matrix from crucial access to funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The new Canada Periodical Fund, announced last month by Heritage Minister James Moore and still being designed by government officials, would deny certain federal grants to most publications with annual sales of fewer than 5,000 copies.

"The government is improving the way it does business to meet the changing needs of Canadians," Moore said when the program was announced in February. "The way in which support to Canadian periodicals is delivered will be reformed to maximize value for money and to seize opportunities in today's global, technological environment."

But arts advocates say that while small publishers could still qualify for some grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the new funding restrictions would cripple or kill a host of venerable titles that, collectively, are seen as the seedbed of the country's literary imagination. . .

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  Literary publishers protest cuts, by Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service, March 11 2009

Posted: March 17, 2009

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