Modernization of the Canada Periodical Fund: Adapting to the Digital Era
GATINEAU, February 18, 2020
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of fostering strong and dynamic magazine and community newspaper sectors that meet the evolving needs of readers. The industry is facing major challenges due in part to declining advertising revenues and distribution in an increasingly digital marketplace. This is why the Government is taking steps to modernize the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) by prioritizing activities that will lead to the production of quality Canadian editorial and journalistic content, regardless of the platform used to offer it.
One of the goals of this modernization is to help publishers of paid-circulation magazines and non-daily newspapers develop the tools they need to contribute to our economy and reach readers wherever they are. Two of the three components of the CPF will be modernized: the Aid to Publishers (ATP) component and the Business Innovation (BI) component.
In order to help publishers adapt to the changes, the modernized CPF will be implemented over five years.
The Government of Canada has long sought to strengthen the capacity of the Canadian magazine and community newspaper industries in all regions by supporting viable publishers. With this modernization, the Government is continuing its efforts to support the periodical industry, which plays a vital role in Canada’s identity, as well as its economy.
Stakeholders will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Canadian Heritage to discuss the envisioned changes to the CPF in order to be prepared for the first application intake under the modernized Fund in the fall of 2020.
The modernization of the Canada Periodical Fund is part of the federal government’s strategy to support journalism in Canada. In addition to these changes to the CPF, the Government launched in 2019 the Local Journalism Initiative, which is administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as three new fiscal measures, which are administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.
For more information on the modernization of the Canada Periodical Fund, see the attached backgrounder.
“I am proud that our government supports the magazine and community newspaper industries through the Canada Periodical Fund. It is even more important to ensure the viability of these industries in this digital age. The funding and support we are providing will not only ensure that professional editorial and journalistic content gets created, but also help make Canadian magazines and community newspapers more competitive by reaching Canadian and international audiences on digital and print distribution channels.”
—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The $74.3-million Canada Periodical Fund provides financial assistance to Canadian print magazines, non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals to enable them to overcome market disadvantages and continue to provide Canadian readers with the content they choose to read.
The Aid to Publishers component of the CPF provides funding to eligible Canadian print paid magazines and non-daily newspapers to enable them to produce high-quality content for Canadian readers. In 2019–20, it provided funding to 403 magazines and 326 newspapers, including 17 Indigenous publications, 73 ethnocultural publications, and 22 official-language minority publications.
In 2019–20, the ATP component provided a total investment of $799,384 to 22 paid-circulation official-language minority community magazines and newspapers. Of these publications, 3 were magazines and 19 were community newspapers.
The Business Innovation component of the CPF provides financial support to eligible small and mid-sized printed magazine and digital periodical publishers. It encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers. In 2018–19, this component provided funding to 88 projects, including 14 ethnocultural publications, 17 export projects, and 8 digital startup publications. Projects supported may include the adoption or use of new media, mobile applications, advertising and promotional campaigns, web design and development, and expansion into new markets.
How we will proceed? In 2020–21, the formula-based ATP component and the BI component will remain the same while the government continues to support publishers with the upcoming transition. In subsequent years, starting in 2021–22, the funding provided will gradually shift from rewarding print circulation to rewarding investment in editorial and journalistic content and reaching readers, regardless of the distribution channel. Because more and more readers continue to consume content in a digital format, a new sub-component of the ATP will be created to fund qualified publishers who distribute digital-only content with no other associated print products. The new ATP formula will be fully implemented in 2025–26. The modernization of the BI component will include broadening its types of eligible periodicals and a $1-million increase in its budget as of 2021–22.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
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