March 23, 2016

Canadian publishers welcome renewed investment in the Canada Council for the Arts and promotion of cultural industries abroad

The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) congratulates the government on its planned investment in the Canada Council for the Arts, announced in yesterday’s federal budget. The budget includes a commitment to increase the Council’s budget by $40 million in 2016-17, with an additional $35 million per year in each of the following four years. This will bring the Crown corporation’s annual budget to $360 million by 2020, and increase its capacity to invest in artists and arts organizations across the country. ACP also welcomes the budget’s proposal to invest $35 million over two years, beginning in 2016-17, to support the promotion of Canadian artists and cultural industries abroad. We look forward to working with the Minister of Canadian Heritage to pursue export opportunities for Canadian publishers through this initiative.

Over its sixty year history, the Canada Council has been instrumental to the establishment and growth of an independent, Canadian-owned book publishing sector. The Council’s investment has supported the publication of thousands of books by Canadian writers, which have shaped our collective identity, contributed to national debate, and brought enjoyment to readers in all parts of the country and around the world.

ACP President Matt Williams responded to the budget announcement: “Canadian writing and publishing have flourished over the past half century, and the programs of the Canada Council have been essential to this success. The investment the Council makes in publishing through the Block Grant and other programs allows publishers to take risks on original Canadian writing, and develop audiences for this work. That audience now extends around the world, and for that reason, we are glad to see support for international market development in yesterday’s budget.”

The Canada Council currently devotes approximately $24 million per year to writing and publishing programs, which support the writing, publishing, and translation of literary works. The ACP looks forward to continued dialogue with the Council as it prepares to implement this budget increase, alongside the New Funding Model, announced last year.