Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Word on the Street a no-go in Calgary

Word on the Street, the annual book and magazine lovers' festival that took place in recent years at the Calgary Farmers' Market on the last Sunday of September, has been nixed in Calgary f0r 2008 due to a major sponsor pulling out. Unfortunately, this means that the festival will be on hold indefinitely. There is no news on whether a sponsor will be found in time for 2009's Word on the Street.

Word on the Street is still set to occur this year in Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Check out the Word on the Street festival website for more info.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Liberal Party Supports Publication Assistance Program Funding

In the most recent edition of its e-newsletter, Cover Lines, Magazines Canada reports that they recently sent a letter to all federal party leaders asking questions specific to the magazine industry. The Liberal party responded the next day, saying that if elected, they would support PAP funding.

Magazines Canada has sent several letter to the federal government over the past couple of months, as well as letters to all MPs running in the election. Here is the Liberal Party's response to Magazines Canada's letter:

A Liberal Response to Magazines Canada

1. Will your party maintain current Publication Assistance Program (PAP) funding
at $60 million including the $15 million shortfall created by Canada Post’s intention
to exit from the PAP?

Canada Post's mandate is to ensure that all of Canada is served with efficient, affordable
and accessible postal service. The Liberal Party is concerned about some of the cuts and
service reductions that Canada Post has made.
In regard to PAP funding, the liberal Party would work to ensure that Canada Post
maintains its contribution to the PAP program, a good program that helps Canada Post to
meet its mandate.

2. Does your party commit to introducing competition for magazine postal delivery
in Canada?

The Liberal understands that there have been some concerns about the fact that
distribution is too dependent on Canada Post. However, we have also stated that we
oppose any policy change that may lead to the privatization of Canada Post.

3. Do you commit to continue funding the Canada Magazine Fund at its current
level of $16 million and restore funding cuts made in August 2008 to the Support for
Industry Development program?


4. Will you direct Canada Post to delay its introduction of Distance Related Pricing
until the government examines the findings of the Canada Post Corporation
Strategic Review and comes to final policy recommendations?

The Liberal Party agrees that the Canada Post Strategic Review might have impacts on its
current policies. We would examine findings of the review and hold discussions with
stakeholders in order to find ways to improve distribution services for Canadians and
Canada’s magazine publishers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Alberta's Literary Industry Mourns the Loss of Barbara Mousseau

Former owner of Volume II Bookstore in Edmonton, Barbara Mousseau, has died. Barbara bought Volume II in the '80s and ran the store for 15 years until she retired in 1995, but she continued to work there part-time until her death.

“Barb was just a great lady … a classy, classy woman, and a wonderful, great bibliophile,” says Gail Greenwood of Edmonton's Greenwood’s Bookshoppe. And Sally Maulucci, western trade representative for Oxford University Press Canada, says that Mousseau “was always a joy to call on as a customer in Alberta…. I do think that Barbara was one of the great booksellers.”

Alberta's publishing industry will certainly miss such an outstanding supporter of the literary arts scene in this province.

Our thoughts are with Barbara's family and friends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Time to Make the Case for Culture

With election fever riling folks up on both sides of the border, and with Read Alberta Magazines Month just around the corner in October, a panel of artists told the CBC cultural affairs show Q that it's time for Canadian artists to "make the case for culture" in our country.

"The question comes down to how we can as artists make the case to Canadians that the arts deserves healthy vigorous funding," S. Randy Boyagoda, a novelist and a professor of literature based at Ryerson University, said on Thursday.

With over $44 million in cuts to arts funding announced by the federal conservatives, it seems that now, more than ever, artists and those working in the cultural industry need to persuade fellow Canadians that funding for arts and cultural programs is integral to support a healthy and thriving Canadian cultural identity and society.

None of the federal parties have released their platforms on arts and cultural funding, so it's time for artists, writers, publishers, actors, filmmakers, and anyone and everyone who values arts and culture in this country to step up and put pressure on electoral candidates to finalize their policies about the arts.

Gregory Elgstrand, a visual arts curator and member of the group Department of Culture, a Toronto-based organization formed to fight arts cuts, says arguments about culture's contribution to GDP are too abstract.

"It's absolutely critical we get into that process and that artists use the skills and the experiences and the creative faculties that they have to engage with people in their communities and that's one of things we want to set up," he said.

"This not just about money. What we’ve seen in this round of cuts … is the disappearance of programs ... Once these programs are gone, throwing more money at nothing is not going to produce anything," he added.

To read the full online CBC article go to

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

US Gossip mag top of Canadian newsstands

Courtesy of D.B Scott (Magazines Canada blog):

Continuing a great service to the Canadian industry, Coast to Coast Newsstand Services has published its box score for the sales of Canadian and U.S. titles on Canadian newsstands, this time for 2007. Among the interesting developments were not only who was up and who down, but that the figures tend to shine a very different light on the recent Audit Bureau of Circulations data which gave a rather gloomy picture of the single copy business. Part of the reason was a change in ABC's methodology, removing "public place" and bulk copies from its counts.

Among notable results in CTC's Canadian Newsstand Boxscore:
  • Hello! magazine has taken the number one spot for newsstand sales among Canadian magazines and the number 12 spot over all. In 2007 it sold 1,747,987 copies for retail sales of $6.5 million. That's a jump of 313% in unit sales and 210% in dollars.
  • None of the top 10 and only three of the top 20 newsstand sellers are Canadian. When enquiring minds want to know why it's so hard for Canadian magazines to do well on their own newsstands, it's because we're crowded out by the likes of People (number one with a stagering 5.7 million units and $28 million in sales).
  • Canadian Living, the number two Canadian title is off 4.4% in units from last year, with just over $5 million in sales
  • Canadian House & Home was also off 4.3% in unit sales, with 2007 sales of $4.5 million
  • Style at Home was off 12.3% in unit sales and had sales of $3.2 million
  • Chatelaine was off 4.5% in unit sales with sales of $2.7 million
  • Maclean's was up 14.3% in unit sales, with sales of $2.4 million
  • Reader's Digest was off 8.1% in unit sales, with sales of $2.2 million
  • The Hockey News was off 10.6% in unit sales, with sales of $1 million
  • Lou Lou (English) was off 6.1% in unit sales, with sales of $862,662
  • MORE magaizne was up 53% in units, for sales of $827,152

Friday, September 5, 2008

Alberta Arts Day is tomorrow!

AMPA is excited for the inaugural Alberta Arts Day, happening tomorrow throughout Alberta, with a multitude of performances to take place at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. AMPA will have a booth there from 10am to 3pm, so we hope you come by to chat us up and pick up some magazine samples.

Click here for schedule of events.

From the Alberta Arts Day website:

All Albertans are encouraged to participate in an arts event or activity on September 6 or plan their own celebration of the arts. One opportunity is to participate in the Alberta Arts Day BookCrossing Challenge. This challenge encourages Albertans to read books by Albertans, about Albertans or published by Albertans and then leave one for someone else to discover.

For more information on the Alberta Arts Day BookCrossing Challenge or other ideas and suggestions on how to celebrate on September 6, visit

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium is Celebration Central for Arts DayOn September 6, A free, family-friendly, all-day event is being held at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary, with many talented artists from across the province performing and providing interactive experiences.

Learn from the best that Alberta has to offer, whether it's joining in on a hip hop choreography session or creating a unique presentation using the latest new media techniques.

Arts Day Gala AnnouncedIn the evening of Alberta Arts Day, a performance Gala and awards presentation takes the stage at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Tickets for this inaugural gala are available from Ticketmaster starting today at $15.00/ person ($7.50/person for groups of 10 or more).

The Gala is all about creative collisions, as you can see from the line-up:

Aboriginal Music Trio ‘Asani’ will be collaborating with aboriginal dance choreographer Troy Twigg

Alt-country act the Swiftys joins with hip hop group Dragon Fli Empire.

Dancers from Decidedly Jazz Danceworks team up with musicians from across Alberta

Dave Pearce will conduct Johanna Sillanpaa, John Wort Hannam and Kris Demeanor in collaboration with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

The evening will end with the Alberta Ballet performing new excerpts from Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum.

The gala will also include the presentation of three awards of $50,000 each to Alberta’s top visual, performing and literary artists.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Obama & Alberta and 100 Biggest Companies in Alberta

Obama & Alberta: AlbertaViews' Editor Evan Osenton reports from Denver

The Democratic National Convention this week boasts 4,000 delegates and 15,000 members of the media. AlbertaViews' editor Evan Osenton sent his thoughts about what an Obama win might mean to Alberta:

I don't know how the US election in November will affect Canada at large, but Alberta's fortunes are intimately tied to America's; their federal election arguably means more to us than our own. If Denver is any indication, America is embroiled in a battle of "stories," with one side pledging a complete change to how Americans make and use energy over the course of a generation... the other, business as usual. It'd be an entertaining debate, to be sure--if only one side wasn't so wrong about climate change, environmental degradation, rising oil prices and energy security. The only inevitability is change; the surprise, to each generation, is how fast change comes. Is Alberta too wrapped up in the latter tale--"blinded by the boom," as it were--to see the threat, the opportunity and indeed the inevitability of the Obama story?

The full story will be in the November issue of AlbertaViews, available on newsstands, by subscription.

Alberta's Biggest Companies Duke it Out in the Venture 100

For the 12th year in a row, Alberta Venture magazine has released its list of Alberta's biggest companies. The Venture 100, the Next 100 and the PWC Private 50 lists rank the top-grossing Alberta-based companies over the last year. At the top of the Venture 100 this year stands Calgary-based Imperial Oil Limited, followed by Encana and Petro-Canada rounding out the top three. The Next 100 list is topped by NAL Oil & Gas Trust. As for the PWC Private 50 list, the top privately-held companies in Alberta are Syncrude Canada Ltd., Katz Group and Canada Safeway Ltd.

Compiled by Alberta Venture's editorial team and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the list establishes a snapshot of Alberta's current economic contributors and celebrates the success of the province's thriving business community.

"The entire list is a testament to the strength of Alberta business," says Michael McCullough, editor of Alberta Venture. "It celebrates the vitality of Alberta's business community and reinforces the province's rank among the other major economic centres of the world."

The entire Venture 100 rankings are featured in the September issue of Alberta Venture.

Alberta Venture is Alberta's only province-wide business magazine covering the latest issues and trends concerning Alberta's business community. The Venture 100 Issue is available on newsstands across Alberta.

Readers can go behind the scenes of the Venture 100 with exclusive articles, expanded charts and online videos with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Venture 100 committee at the newly re-launched