Friday, July 25, 2014

It will be smaller, and members will pay more, but MagsBC will carry on

The Magazine Association of BC, beleaguered and under threat for a couple of years, is going to carry on, after a vote at the association's annual general meeting on June 26. It will do so as a smaller entity, operating out of executive director Sylvia Skene's home and giving up its longtime offices on Homer Street in Vancouver and even its fax number, to save money. And its fees will be going up.

In a member newsletter, Trudy Lancelyn, the 2014-15 president, said

"Associations exist because their members derive benefits from joining. For MagsBC, the internship grants, professional development seminars and networking events pay back – in some cases in ways that go directly to members’ bottom lines....However, funding is only possible if the association exists, which means that we as members have to show our commitment and support by ensuring its continued viability."
Members are being asked in a survey to rate current and suggested projects and member feedback is very important, says Lancelyn.

As but two examples of the difficulties under which MagsBC has been labouring, the newsletter pointed out that their popular internship subsidy may or may not be subsidized by the Canada Periodical Fund and, in the meantime, they will continue to collect applications should funding become available. And the announcement of an Economic Impact Study being undertaken this summer by Rowland Lorimer and associates at Simon Fraser University turns out to have been premature, though magazines are being asked to continue to take part.

"What we didn't realize [when the announcement was made] was that the CPF has not yet decided whether to approve funding for this research. 
"We apologize to the folks at CPF for thanking them prematurely. We had no intention of using our thanks to pressure or embarrass the CPF, only to acknowledge its importance in supporting our industry."
 In February 2012, Mags BC was  thrown into a crisis when two funding applications, totalling $151,694, were rejected by the CPF; the agency relented and approved one of the two applications, but still with $25,000 less than it had applied for. A task force was created to address problems in four areas: grants/partnerships, fundraising/sponsorships, Board/Committee recruitment/development, and advocacy. The positive vote at the AGM is the most recent outcome of these discussions. 

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