All About Canada’s publishing industry…
There are over 250 independent Canadian-owned publishers, which produce over 10,000 new titles each year. Nationally, these Canadian publishers provide 9,000 jobs and generate $2 billion in revenue annually. Manitoba’s publishers are an essential element of the larger Canadian publishing community. In Manitoba, independent publishing represents a $4 million locally owned and operated industry. Each year, Manitoba publishers produce 100-120 titles in English, French, and several Aboriginal languages.
In addition to being an important part of our economy, culture — and book publishing in particular — plays an important role in enhancing life in our country and our provinces. Canadian publishers produce approximately 80 percent of the new books by Canadian authors each year. Without Canadian book publishers, the majority of the stories unique to our country and our people would never be recorded or disseminated. Our cultural contributions are essential to a strong country; we preserve history as it happens.
Although publishers are businesses, they are about much more than dollars and cents. And when government invests in culture, it is investing in both our economy and our communities. Government investment in publishing also has a significant return: the federal Heritage investment of $30 million in grants helps generate $413 million in sales. In Manitoba, the government investment is returned dollar for dollar.
Our publishers and writers experience many successes in the creation and dissemination of Canadian literature, with many of our books and authors receiving well-deserved international recognition. However, our industry also faces challenges. We hope that you will take some time to familiarize yourself with some of the policy issues of primary concern to Canadian and Manitoban publishers, including:
- An immediate review of the Copyright Modernization Act to clarify fair dealing provisions. Educators at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels have broadly interpreted the Act’s fair dealing provisions, and have stopped making payment for copyright-protected work. Substantial damage has already been done to independent publishing. Litigation is unnecessarily costly and waiting for the planned review of the Act in 2017 may be too late. Support of copyright is necessary and allows writers and publishers to continue to produce relevant Canadian books for our curricula.
- Continued and increased funding for Canadian arts and culture, and stable, reliable funding for the book publishing industry in Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts. Despite the increase in the number of firms accessing its resources, the DCH’s last funding increase was over 15 years ago. Recently, it was announced that effective April 1, 2016, DCH’s support for travel for professional development programming will no longer be available through the Canada Book Fund’s Support for Organizations program. Canadian publishers, especially those outside of major centres like Toronto, will be less able to participate in professional training opportunities that have made Canada a leader in eBook development, book export, digital sales and more. We hope that funding to this program will be reinstated.
- Fostering Canadian ownership in the book industry by implementing recommendations from the Revised Foreign Investment Policy in Publishing and Distribution, including meaningful assessments of “net benefit to Canada.” This supports regional and local publishers, first-time authors and Canadian literature.
For more information about Manitoba publishers please see Telling Our Stories: A Report on the Success of Manitoba Book Publishers
For the Association of Canadian Publishers’ Statement of Principles on Fair Dealing please visit.
A strong Canadian publishing industry ensures our country’s citizenry the right to express itself, preserve its history, and pass down its stories to future generations.