As part of the federal Conservative government’s plan to cut $44.8 million in spending on arts and culture, $500,000 will be cut from the Canada Magazine Fund’s budget next year, according to reports in the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Magazines blog. The Support for Industry Development, worth about $2.5 million this year, will likely bear the brunt of the hit.
The Department of Canadian Heritage is expected to confirm these cuts this afternoon.
The CMF currently has four components: Support for Editorial Content, Support for Arts and Literary Magazines, Support for Business Development for Magazine Publishers and Support for Industry Development.
From 2005-2006, Magazines Canada’s Handbooks and Hotsheets Project received $65,899, and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association’s 2005 Read Alberta Magazines Month received $44,975 under the CMF’s Support for Industry Development component. Other recipients of the fund from 2000-2007 can be found here.
The cut comes at when time when the whole funding apparatus for Canadian magazines is in question. With plans to introduce a new "Canadian Periodical Fund" delayed until at least 2010 and no word on what will happen to the $15 million that Canada Post will stop contributing to the Publications Assistance Program next year, Canadian publishers have been left in the dark.
As D.B. Scott points out on the Canadian Magazines blog, “None of the components of CMF can be considered safe. The budget envelope for periodical funding could be adjusted anytime until early spring, by whatever government is in power. The budget process starts now and is completed by February each year and anytime between now and then they could decide to cut the other parts of the program. They have done that before in other years. For example, there wasn’t enough demand and grants to use everything up in the program in a previous year, so they cut some of the funding the following year. None of this money is guaranteed.”