Summary of the evaluation of the Canada Book Fund 2012-13 to 2017-18
Evaluation Services Directorate
July 31, 2019
Cette publication est aussi disponible en français.
©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2019
Catalogue No.: CH7-61/2-2019E-PDF
On this page
- List of acronyms and abbreviations
List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Canada Book Fund
- Government of Canada
- Grants and contributions
- Official Languages Minority
- Canadian Heritage
- Support for Organizations
- Support for Publishers
The Canada Book Fund (CBF) is delivered by the Cultural Industries Branch at Canadian Heritage (PCH). It seeks to ensure access to a diverse range of Canadian-authored books nationally and internationally, by fostering a strong book industry that publishes and markets Canadian-authored books.
CBF provides grants and contributions (Gs&Cs) to the Canadian-owned book industry to support the creation and dissemination of Canadian-authored books and to encourage their consumption by readers everywhere.
Support for Publishers (SFP)
- An average of 246 Canadian-owned publishers funded yearly to support the production, marketing and distribution of Canadian-authored books.
- Most SFP recipients are small to "medium sized" publishers: 77.7% have fewer than 10 employees and 56% have annual total revenues of less than $1M.
Support for Organizations (SFO)
- Approved an average of 57 projects yearly, undertaken by industry association and organizations, to support collective marketing initiatives and to strengthen industry infrastructure.
CBF aligned with the Government of Canada (GC) and PCH vision for the creative industries: maintaining a viable and competitive industry that creates and provides access to a diverse range of cultural content in Canada and abroad.
CBF Recipients played an economic and culturally significant role.
- 2,511 jobs on average annually
- $587M average revenues generated annually
- 6,575 new Canadian-authored books, on average annually, in both official languages
Without CBF funding some, particularly small publishers, would not have been viable.
- 4.4% average profit margin of CBF recipients (vs 10.2% for the overall Canadian book publishing industry in 2016. 10.2% includes foreign-owned firms)
SFO has a high level of commitment to recurring projects. There is little flexibility to accept new innovative projects or new applicants. Between 2012-13 and 2017-18:
- 1.7 times more demand than available funding
- 99.1% of approved applications stemmed from recurrent applicants
- 0.9% of approved applications stemmed from new applicants
Greater focus is needed on increasing the visibility of Canadian books.
- 84% of English-speaking Canadian buyers are interested in reading books by Canadian authors, but 37% of men and 24% of women did not know or were unsure whether they had read a Canadian book.Footnote 1
Support from the CBF enabled a broad range of Canadian-owned publishers to produce, market and distribute a diversity of Canadian authored books nationally and internationally.
During the evaluation period, $183.6M was allocated to 246 publishers annually, representing both official languages, all regions, different market segments, and including Indigenous and Official Languages Minority (OLM) publishers.
- Average of 6,575 new titles funded by CBF annually (target of 6,000).
CBF funding supported publishers in marketing their books internationally.
- An export supplement of $3.15M was distributed annually to an average of 163 publishers.
- $750k was allocated to Livres Canada Books annually to administer the Foreign Rights Marketing Assistance Program on behalf of the CBF.
During the evaluation period there was a:
- 6.2% decline in sales of Canadian-authored books
- 14.6% decrease in domestic sales
- 22% increase in export sales
Numbers of Canadian-authored books funded by CBF by year
- In 2012-13, a total of 6,330 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
- In 2013-14, a total of 6,774 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
- In 2014-15, a total of 6,437 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
- In 2015-16, a total of 6,973 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
- In 2016-17, a total of 6,533 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
- In 2017-18, a total of 6,401 of Canadian-authored books (English, French, bilingual and others) were funded by CBF
The SFP funding formula is an objective and efficient mechanism to distribute funding to a wide range of recurrent applicants. SFO introduced measures to increase efficiency, or to reduce the administrative burden on the recipients; however, there are opportunities for SFO to increase its efficiency.
SFO opportunities for greater efficiency:
- Increase the use of a streamlined process for the review of files.
- Increase the use of multi-year funding.
SFO bettered its service standard for the number of weeks to reach a funding decision between 2015-16 and 2017-18, reaching under 28 weeks.
- In 2015-16, the number of weeks to reach a funding decision was 35 weeks.
- In 2017-18, the number of weeks to reach a funding decision was 26 weeks.
Government-wide policy considerations
- Helped the GC to fulfill its responsibility to promote both official languages by funding both English and French-language publishing sectors.
- Specifically targeted Indigenous and OLM publishers.
- Supported PCH's innovation and experimentation initiative by undertaking experimentation projects.
- Will support the GC to fulfill commitments associated with the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty in 2016.
It is recommended that the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for the Cultural Affairs Sector:
- Take measures to support the Canadian-owned book publishing industry to address issues associated with the discovery, marketing and promotion of their Canadian-authored books, including addressing information need, the capacity and skills gaps and issues related to marketing infrastructure.
- Assess opportunities to enable the entry of new and innovative projects to the SFO stream.
- Continue to increase the efficiency of the assessment process for recurrent, low risk SFO applications with annually recurring activities.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: