Friday, February 03, 2012

Mags BC thrown into financial crisis with refusal of $150k in funding from Heritage

The Magazine Association of BC has been thrown into a crisis by the rejection of two funding applications -- totalling $151,694 -- by the Department of Canadian Heritage and its Canada Periodical Fund. In a message to its members, the MABC board said it had requested a meeting with the heritage minister James Moore, following receipt of a Jan 12 letter from Ramzi Saad, Director, Periodical Publishing Policy and Programs, Cultural Industries, which stated that the applications did not meet “The Government of Canada’s ongoing objectives … to fund projects designed to deliver measurable and tangible results, to optimize available funds, and to meet the needs of Canadians.” 
In the meantime
"We now face a seriously depleted cash reserve, and existing resources will only keep our doors open for a few more weeks. There were projects within both applications that we did not start. Unfortunately, other projects needed some up-front spending and incurred administration costs during the wait between the CPF application deadline and their decision, particularly MagsWest 2011 and the BC Ferries initiative. Projects rejected cannot reapply for funding, nor can we claim for any funds already spent. If we wish to continue any of these projects, we will have to find funding outside the CPF."
Current short-term programming is continuing, with support from the Canada Council for the annual professional development conference in March and the popular Mag Scene on Main is being financed from money received from Access Copyright. But the future of the organization lies with its 77 member magazines and their suggestions for finding funding outside the CPF , said the board.
"Our Board is refocusing on the collective nature of MABC, and will continue to work towards becoming a self-sustaining organization by first fostering relationships with our membership. We believe that our ultimate goal is to make the BC magazine industry the strongest in Canada. But we can’t do it alone.
"We need enthusiastic and committed Board members who aren’t afraid of tackling a funding crisis, and we need them now. Experience is valued, but so is gumption."
A task force is being formed to work over the next three months to problem-solve in four areas: grants/partnerships, fundraising/sponsorships, Board/Committee recruitment/development, and advocacy.
"It’s the Board’s view that our current predicament is a chance to rebuild from the ground up. We’ll be calling upon you, our members, to ask questions, get involved, and guide us through this time of transition. We’ll be reaching out to many of you directly in the weeks ahead for your input on specific issues and activities."

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Anonymous Jim said...

This is really a shame.

It's generally good business practise to NOT assume that traditional government funding will come through year over year. If you have a project in mind that is dependent on government funding, unless you're able to fall back on another funding source, it's probably a good idea to not feed your own money into it until your funding has been secured.

I wish the absolute best to Mags BC. Good luck.

4:12 pm  

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