Reader Anita points to this Facebook group she formed to collect opinions from those opposing the Conservative government’s plan, as reported earlier, to cut funding to all magazines under 5000 circulation — ie, virtually every lit mag, dance mag, theatre mag, and art mag in the country. It would literally gut the literary sector. I can’t imagine this won’t be reversed. It reeks of a decision made by right wing suits without the slightest investigation or consultation. From the Facebook group:
Canadian literary and arts magazines publishing in either English and French are in danger of losing a key federal funding source.
On February 17, 2009, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore announced in a speech he made in Montreal (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/minstr/moore/disc-spch/20090217-eng.cfm) that the Canada Magazine Fund and Publishing Assistance Program will be merged to create the Canada Periodical Fund. Initiatives from this new body will come on stream in 2010.
Departing from his prepared remarks, James Moore indicated that eligiblity for funding could potentially be restricted to those magazines with an annual circulation above 5000. With notable exceptions, the circulation of virtually every Canadian literary and arts magazine, large and small, is below 5000.
We have to make sure this possibility does not become an actuality, for if it does, as April 1, 2010, these important and praiseworthy magazines will no longer qualify for funding that they have been receiving for years from the CMF and PAP despite the excellent work that they undertake for the readers and writers across Canada (and around the world)!
The Coalition to Keep Canadian Heritage Support for Literary and Arts Magazine feels strongly that to render these magazines ineligible for this support would be unjust. To quote Andris Taskans, editor of Prairie Fire, to do so would be “a slap in the face”—not only to the magazines themselves but to the many writers that they publish, many of whom began illustrious, international careers in these seminal if modest publcations. To do so would also be a “slap in the face” to the ordinary (and extraordinary) Canadians who read them.
By joining the Coalition, readers and writers everywhere send a strong message to the Honorable James Moore, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Periodical Fund that we believe in our literary and arts magazines and feel that they should continue to do so by supporting them through well-deserved and sustained financial support.
To do so, would be the cheapest economic stimulus package the Government of Canada could initiate. Every single dollar granted to us or paid to us by a subscriber or a newsstand buyer goes back into the economy.