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Update on Federal Funding for Magazines in 2021-2022

CPF and Canada Council for The Arts 2021-2022 Funding

This is a (slightly edited) written summary by Melanie Rutledge, Executive Director, Magazines Canada of the key points about the $31.5 million in additional funding in 2021-2022 for the industry as of July 13, 2021 from CPF, an update on Canada Council for the Arts recovery funding, and another email just sent today (August 6, 2021) with revisions on the ATP top-up:

Magazines that received Aid To Publishers (ATP) support this year will also receive an automatic 13% top-up under Canadian Heritage’s Recovery Fund Stream 2, Investing in the Recovery. Total budget: $10 million.

Key Points:

  • All 2021-2022 (current) ATP recipients will receive an email from the CPF between August 9 and August 20 informing them of the amount they will receive in the top-up.
  • If you are a publisher that receives ATP for more than one title, you will receive an email for each title.
  • The email will be sent to the email address the CPF has on file for your ATP application for each title. If this is not you, please alert the person on your team whose email is linked to your ATP application(s) to be sure they check their email regularly, including their spam folder.
  • If you have direct deposit set up, you can expect the money to be deposited in your bank account within 15 days of the email, otherwise a cheque will be sent.
  • Titles that received ATP support this year will receive the 13% top-up, but those who apply for the first time in November/December 2021 will not.

Part of Canadian Heritage’s Recovery Fund Stream 1, Reinforcing Recovery Foundations, this is a renewal of the 2020 Special Measures for Journalism (SMJ) fund.

The SMJ was part of the federal government’s emergency support measures introduced during the early days of the pandemic. Essentially, this is financial support for almost all print and digital magazines who are not currently receiving Aid to Publishers funding. Total budget:$21.5 million.

Note that the department thought uptake in last year’s SMJ was low, i.e. they received fewer applications than they were expecting. If we hope to get more money for the industry from the federal government, we need to demonstrate demand, so we encourage you to apply, and please encourage colleagues in our industry to do the same.

Key Points:

  • If you received the SMJ last year, you need to apply again to receive it this year.
  • If you were on the fence about whether to apply last year, we encourage you to apply this year.
  • The application guidelines will be pretty much the same as last year.
  • Non-request (free/controlled circulation) titles will not be required to have a circulation audit done in order to be eligible.
  • The amount of money a title receives will be based on your eligible editorial expenditures in your last completed fiscal year before/by March 31, 2021.  (See more below on eligible editorial expenditures.)
  • Minimum amount an eligible magazine will receive: $1,500, maximum: $150,000.

Anticipated timeline:

  • Third week of September: Application guidelines published
  • End of September: Application portal open for 4 weeks
  • End of October: Application portal closes
  • End of November: Successful applicants will receive funds

Eligible Expenses

The SMJ will have exactly the same eligible editorial expenses as the ATP. Most are listed here: Glossary of the ATP application guidelines for print magazines.

It is not feasible to list every category of expense on the form (e.g. audio techs for podcasting), and it may not be obvious in which category certain expenses should be included, so we strongly encourage you to contact CPF program staff directly if you have questions while you are completing the application form. This is the easiest and best way for you to ensure that all of your eligible expenses are correctly captured on the application form.

Note that you can also declare the proportion of a publisher, staff member, intern or contractor’s work on editorial if they do both editorial and non-editorial work.

The application guidelines will include direct email and phone contact information for CPF program staff, rather than a general email and phone number. You can rest assured that you will be able to correspond directly with a real person! We know there is often some trepidation about reaching out to officials in Ottawa, but these are committed professionals who want to help you succeed.

The Canada Council is receiving $25 million in 2021-22 under the Reopening Fund stream and $50 million in 2022-23 under the Recovery Fund Stream 2. I [Melanie] reached out to the Council to ask how much of this money would be allocated to art and literary magazines who receive core funding support from the Council. The Council has indicated that more details about the allocation of the funds will be forthcoming this fall.

For those of you who are interested, you can read the Council’s new strategic plan, as well as its “What We Heard” report on the stakeholder engagement process they undertook as they developed the plan.