Canadian Magazine Industry News
20 January 2010,    
Canada Periodical Fund details released, deadline Feb. 19
The new Canada Periodical Fund details announced late yesterday are similar to what was outlined by the government last year but mean a completely new way for publishers to manage cash flow.

The fund of about $75 million essentially combines the existing Publication Assistance Program (PAP, the postal subsidy) and the Support for Editorial Content portion of the Canada Magazine Fund. Both programs are being shut down in favour of the new CPF. The CPF will be distributed based on the number of eligible copies distributed in a year, rather than on mailing costs as it was in the former Publications Assistance Program which ends on March 31.

Eligible titles will apply to the Aid to Publishers formula once per fiscal year, says Government of Canada media relations advisor Len Westerberg, and then receive funding once a year for the entire year. This means that though publishers are able to spend the money however they see fit, they will have to monitor cash flow more closely than with the PAP because of how it is distributed. 

Community newspapers and magazines which have been recently reviewed and approved in the PAP will be listed on the Canada Periodical Fund – Aid to Publishers site and sent a special form to apply for funding in 2010/2011, says Westerberg. Since the files have been recently reviewed, he says the government is not asking publishers to duplicate the work of filling out a full application. Rather those who have been receiving PAP funding will be asked to fill out a simple form indicating they meet eligibility criteria and wish to receive funding from the Canada Periodical Fund.

There will be a full application form for any new applicants, past recipients or titles which have not been approved in the PAP or Canada Magazine Fund, says Westerberg. The application deadline for the Canada Periodical Fund is February 19.

Rules for eligibility are very similar to those outlined when the program was announced early last year with the noted exception that farm publications are exempt from the funding cap of $1.5 million which all other eligible magazines face. (According to the Department of Canadian Heritage, only one farm publication, Saskatoon-based weekly, The Western Producer, received more than $1.5 million in postal subsidy in 2008-2009. The Glacier Media title received $1,779,611). Small magazines with fewer than 5,000 paid copies are not eligible for the fund. And all magazines must sell at least 50 percent of their copies in the year previous to its application to be eligible. Request-circulation titles are also eligible, as before with the PAP.

Westerberg says there may be a gap between the end of the PAP postal subsidy and the distribution of funds under the Canada Periodical Fund but that the Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to keeping it as short as possible.

Most titles will likely receive between 90 to 150 percent of their previous amount of funding under the Canada Periodical Fund up to a maximum of $1.5 million, says Westerberg. “In future years Canada Periodical Fund formula funding will be based on success at reaching readers,” he says. “This does mean that titles more successful at reaching readers, including through the newsstand, may receive more funding.”

Stay with Masthead for more on the Canada Periodical Fund, including reaction from key industry members.

For more information on the Canada Periodical Fund click here for the English version and here for the French.

— Val Maloney
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