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Federal budget pledges $39.3 million for book industry by 2023

The book industry is welcoming Ottawa’s new budget, which addresses their concerns about the market with $39.3 million in support. This funding will be distributed over the next two years by the Department of Canadian Heritage, with $32.1 million dedicated to helping bookstores increase sales online and $7.2 million in additional funding to promote Canadian books at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

“This is great news for indie booksellers and their customers,” says Douglas Minett, executive director of the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association. He notes that CIBA teamed with French-language booksellers on a proposal to the Department of Finance advocating for local booksellers. “We have been informed that our proposal was a key factor in this funding decision,” CIBA confirmed in a statement.

The Association of Canadian Publishers, likewise, was pleased with the various budget announcements, though the trade association noted it continues to discuss the need to raise the budget for the Canada Book Fund with both Canadian Heritage and the Department of Finance. The Canada Book Fund budget has remained static for 20 years.

“We welcome the government’s investment in arts and culture organizations to support COVID-19 recovery, and emphasize the need for a longer-term discussion about sustainable support for the Canadian book publishers,” Kate Edwards, ACP executive director, said in a statement.