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
ISBN: 978-0-660-32281-0

On this page

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)

Support for Organizations (SFO)


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.


Without CBF funding some, particularly small publishers, would not have been viable.


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:


Greater focus is needed on increasing the visibility of Canadian books.


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.

CBF funding supported publishers in marketing their books internationally.

During the evaluation period there was a:

Numbers of Canadian-authored books funded by CBF by year


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:

Service Standards

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.

Government-wide policy considerations

The CBF:


It is recommended that the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for the Cultural Affairs Sector:

  1. 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.
  2. Assess opportunities to enable the entry of new and innovative projects to the SFO stream.
  3. Continue to increase the efficiency of the assessment process for recurrent, low risk SFO applications with annually recurring activities.

Page details

Date modified: