Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canada Council takes management of Flying Squad in-house; ends outsourcing to Mags Canada

[This post has been updated] The Canada Council for the Arts has ended its collaboration with Magazines Canada in which it outsourced the management of the Flying Squad program for the portion of the program serving magazines. 
Two years ago, the program, which had previously provided mentorship and consultation assistance to theatre and dance companies, was expanded to the book and magazine publishing sector. According to a story in Quill and Quire, the program is now being expanded to allow literary festivals and various publishing related programs to apply as well.
According to Flying Squad writing and publishing coordinator Roy MacSkimming, the feeling was that the program was somewhat undersubscribed and that there was room to support more applicants. “Since book and magazine publishers have found it useful, the Council wants associations and festivals to be able to access it, too,” he says.
[UPDATE: Sources within Magazines Canada said that its portion of the Flying Squad program managed by the association was never under-subscribed and that all the money went to magazines; none to administration.]

MacSkimming said the greatest use of the support was marketing development and consulting help in online marketing, social media and website design.
Several other changes have been announced to the program. Previously, book publishers were eligible for only two types of assistance – organizational research and mentorship – but now they are able to apply for funding for collaborative initiatives and professional development as well. The Council has also dissolved the separation between funds for book publishers and periodicals. Magazines Canada, which used to manage the latter half of the program, will no longer be involved. The entire amalgamated program will now be managed by MacSkimming, who says it simply made more sense to have one person in charge.

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