Government of Canada Renews Investments in Canadian Books with an Emphasis on Digital TechnologiesVICTORIA, September 22, 2009 -
- The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced renewed funding for the Canadian book industry totalling $39.5 million per year over the next five years. The renewed investment will help publishers and other book industry stakeholders to weather the current economic slowdown.
"Today's announcement means that the recession will not reduce Government funding for the production and promotion of Canadian books," said Minister Moore. "This will help maintain thousands of jobs, while ensuring that readers everywhere continue to have access to a variety of Canadian-authored books."
Electronic media present new ways for Canadians to buy, read, and learn about Canadian books. This funding will help ensure that the book industry is able to keep pace with the digital publishing world as it evolves. It will enable Canadian publishers to adopt more competitive business models, use more efficient distribution processes, and publish more Canadian books in the formats that Canadians demand.
"Canadian-owned book publishers compete every day to bring books to Canadian readers. Thanks to the support provided by the federal government, Canadian publishers are able to compete effectively with multinational houses many times their size," said Andrew Wooldridge, President of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia. "On behalf of the Association of Canadian Publishers, thank you, Minister, for the commitment your government is making today to our industry. This will help ensure that Canadian books continue to be available for Canadians to read, in whatever formats readers want them."
This investment is currently managed through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP). The Government of Canada is building on the success of the existing program and shifting its role from being the supporter of a developing industry to reinforcing a mature industry that brings Canadian books to readers everywhere.
To reflect this evolution, the BPIDP will be renamed the Canada Book Fund. The government will also streamline program delivery to reduce administrative burden and costs for applicants.
A backgrounder is attached.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Established in 1979, the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) is currently the Government's principal funding mechanism for Canadian books. Last year alone, BPIDP invested in over 200 book publishers and publishing organizations, helping them with the production and promotion of over 5500 Canadian-authored books. This generated almost $450 million in sales, including $100 million in exports to more than 100 markets.
With today's announcement, federal funding devoted to this program will be maintained at $39.5 million annually for the next five years, extending to 2014-2015 the $9 million in supplemental funding that was scheduled to sunset at the end of this fiscal year.
This adds to the $31.1 million provided annually for Canadian books by other federal government organizations, such as the Canada Council for the Arts and the Public Lending Right Commission.
Renewed Direction with an Emphasis on Digital Technologies
The renewed program will build on past success to help Canadians access a wide variety of Canadian-authored books in the most effective way possible. More specifically, it will:
- Provide publishers with the long-term financial stability they need to take risks and experiment with digital technologies
- Encourage transition to new business models and production of books in alternative formats, such as e-books
- Continue support for marketing activities, internships, and professional development projects related to new technologies and emerging formats
Renewed Program Structure
The program structure will be streamlined to reduce applicants' administrative burden and costs. The current four components will be regrouped into two funding streams tailored to the program's two eligible recipient groups:
Support for Publishers
Domestic and export formula funding support to publishers, as well as funding for business planning and internships
Support for Organizations
Funding for marketing, technology, industry research, professional development, business planning, internships, and international marketing assistance
The above-mentioned changes will take effect on April 1, 2010. At the same time, the program will be renamed the Canada Book Fund to reflect its evolution.
More information on the Canada Book Fund, visit www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/book.