Fuse magazine, one of Canada's older arts and culture magazines, has been forced by a financial crisis to appeal for a bailout from its supporters in what they are calling their 40 for 40 campaign. Keying off their forthcoming 40th anniversary, they are trying to raise a total of $40,000 by March 31 of which they need to have at least $10,000 in hand by December 1.
A letter sent to subscribers and friends on Thursday details the situation this way, citing among other factors last year's decision by the federal government to exclude small-circulation arts, culture and literary titles from its new Canada Periodical Fund:
"Fuse has run into a financial crisis that we can't solve by shaving back our budgets or recruiting volunteers. Anyone who works in the cultural sector knows how increasingly vulnerable we have all become. Along with the closure of swimming pools, libraries and youth centres, the defunding of essential cultural organizations and alternative publications regardless of their value to the community is the result of a political climate shifting further away from the social good.
"The not-for-profit magazine community is declining as the commercial publishing model continues to dominate. Magazines operation outside of the mainstream industry, like Fuse, were further challenged this year by a 100% funding cut from Heritage Canada. The hit was both unexpected and impossible to fiscally absorb, and is being felt across small magazine publishing."(As recently as 2008-09, Fuse received a grant of about $20,000 from the old Canada Magazine Fund's support for arts and literary magazines (SALM), which was discontinued last year. Magazines which had an annual, paid circulation of fewer than 5,000 copies -- mostly small, quarterly cultural titles like Fuse -- were left out of the Canada Periodical Fund because they're considered "micro magazines", which are not businesses.)