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Griffith on the Go

 

Jamie Griffith

A Column By
Jamie Griffith

From the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) strict rules regarding Canadian content on the airwaves to federal funding for filmmakers and musicians, there are many aspects of Canadian culture and art that receive money from your tax dollars via the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The rules, however, are becoming tighter.

Top 10 Recipients of CMF funding

  1. Maclean’s - $421,420
  2. Canadian Living - $219,786
  3. 7 Jours - $207,647
  4. Chatelaine (English Version) - $205,308
  5. Canadian Business - $179,549
  6. Canadian House and Home - $169,873
  7. L’actualite - $163,598
  8. Flare - $156,970
  9. Toronto Life - $156,739
  10. CMAJ - $150,894

The Canada Magazine Fund (CMF), which oversees funding to magazines in this country, has received $45 million from the federal department of Canadian Heritage to support editorial content, arts and literary magazines, business development for magazine publishers, and industry development for this year and last.

There are, however, two major issues plaguing the CMF and its funding structure for magazines.

First, the larger, more popular Canadian publications are receiving the most money from the CMF, while the smaller mags, the ones that need the boost, receive far less (See sidebar).

Because the CMF's division of funds is determined by a number of different factors, such as paid circulation, minimum editorial expenses, and advertising content, magazines which don't meet these criteria aren't eligible for government money.

Secondly, unless magazines specifically apply for project funding for websites and online content, they are not part of the CMF’s plan.


Bottom 10 Recipients of CMF Funding
  1. Sotaque Brasileiro - $2,858
  2. Informag - $5,016
  3. Grossesse - $9,278
  4. Le Point En Administration Scolaire - $10,163
  5. ATV Trail Rider Canada - $13, 291
  6. Horse-Canada.com - $15, 323
  7. Ashian - $16, 988
  8. Antique and Collectibles Showcase - $18,181
  9. Junior - $18,240
  10. The Canadian Horse Journal - $18,366

As a matter of routine, the CMF is undergoing a periodical publishing program review, taking advice from publishers, editors, and other industry experts, in order to improve its funding formula. 

Meetings took place across the country between February and April, but it likely will be some time before we know which changes the CMF will bring to the magazine industry.

While the meetings were designed as informal roundtable discussions in order to receive new ideas for funding, only the final decisions will be announced to the public, and any changes will not be implemented until April 2009 at the earliest.

Mark Jamison, CEO of Magazines Canada, was at the Toronto sessions.  He confirmed to Mag World that the issue of online funding by the CMF was raised at his meeting, and that the prospect is “being raised everywhere” in the magazine industry.

Now that the meetings have wrapped up, deliberations can get underway at Canadian Heritage.

What remains to be seen, though, is if the smaller magazines in this country will get a larger piece of the pie.   

(More details on the CMF can be found at the Canadian Heritage Website)