Government mag funds get with the times

The new Canada Periodical Fund allows print mag publishers to use grant money to develop web content.

A new government program created to fund the magazine and community newspaper industry will allow publishers a greater flexibility when using their portion of the $75.5-million annual pot, according to a Government of Canada announcement this week. Publishers can now use the Canada Periodical Fund to enrich web content and find new ways to reach Canadians online.

‘These two innovations should allow publishers to invent new ad opportunities for brands/agencies, including multi-platform and online ads,’ says Canadian Heritage spokesperson Dominique Collin in an email interview. ‘The periodical industry needs stability in the levels of financial support it receives from the government to weather the current economic slowdown, and that support should be flexible, targeted, and relevant,’ adds Collin.

While the fund’s main intent is to support Canadian content for a Canadian audience, its redesign (which in 2010 replaces Canada Magazine Fund and the Publications Assistance Program) also recognizes new platforms as a viable business model for the industry.

‘One of our publishers was talking about live streaming their own television show based on their brand, in the near future,’ says Mark Jamison of non-profit industry advocacy organization, Magazines Canada. ‘So that becomes the brand extension for that particular magazine onto another platform,’ he says. ‘It’s a new world order out there.’