Canada Book Fund (CBF)

The Department of Canadian Heritage
Key objectives of the measure:

The Canada Book Fund (CBF) ensures access to a diverse range of Canadian-authored books nationally and internationally, by fostering a strong book industry that publishes and markets Canadian-authored books. The Government of Canada provides support for the Canadian book industry through two main streams of the CBF: Support for Publishers and Support for Organizations, the former with two components: Publishing Support and Business Development.

The Publishing Support component strengthens the Canadian book industry by providing financial assistance to publishers for the ongoing production, marketing and distribution of Canadian-authored books. Supplementary funding based on export sales is also available as part of Publishing Support. The Business Development component strengthens the Canadian book industry by providing financial assistance to publishers for the following projects: publishing internships, technology internships and business planning.

Support for Organizations helps organizations and associations in the Canadian book industry with two key objectives in mind: the marketing and promotion of Canadian-authored books, and strengthening the infrastructure and capacity of the industry.

Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

The bulk of Canada Book Fund (CBF) support is delivered through the Support for Publishers stream, which provides funding distributed primarily through a formula that rewards success in delivering content that Canadians value. This funding contributes to the ongoing production and marketing of Canadian-authored books by offsetting the high costs of publishing in Canada and building the capacity and competitiveness of the sector.

In 2014, the funding for the CBF was renewed permanently. The objectives of the renewal were that the program would be focused on digital innovation and international competitiveness while working within the existing budget.

Changes to the program included the following:

  • Significant overhaul of the formula designed to provide greater support to smaller businesses that need it most, provide greater focus on digital sales, and simplify the overall approach.
  • Lower barriers to entry for newer, innovative businesses (requisite period of 36 months in business reduced to 12 months).
  • An obligation for publishers (with some exceptions) to publish e-books (effective 2016-17) and a stronger emphasis on rewarding their success in selling them.
  • Digital-only publishers and digital-only titles are now eligible for funding.
  • Priority is given to projects with an international focus (particularly those that focus on digital exports).
Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

The expected results for the Canada Book Fund (CBF) are the following:

  • Readers everywhere have access to a broad range of Canadian-authored books produced by CBF recipients.
  • Readers everywhere consume a broad range of Canadian authored books supported by the CBF.
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

The Canada Book Fund (CBF) has an annual budget of $39.1 million CAD, and provides annual funding through two streams:

- Support for Publishers, which has a budget of $30.7 million CAD.

- Support for Organizations, which has a budget of $6 million CAD.

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Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

An evaluation of the Canada Book Fund was completed in 2014. The evaluation, which was conducted by the Evaluation Services Directorate of the Department of Canadian Heritage, in conjunction with a third-party consulting firm, is part of the normal Government of Canada program assessment process. The evaluation concluded that the program remains relevant, well-aligned with government objectives and has achieved its expected outcomes. The evaluation recommended that the program provide support to recipients that will encourage greater production, marketing and sales of digital books.

Indicators used to determine impact:
The following expected outcomes were identified for the Canada Book Fund (CBF): (1) creation of a diverse range of Canadian-authored books; (2) accessibility for consumption of a diverse range of Canadian-authored books in Canada and abroad; and (3) support for the viability of Canada’s book publishing industry.For the first expected outcome, the following indicators were examined: the number of new eligible works funded by the CBF, as well as the diversity of works according to language, province of production and literary genre. With respect to the second expected outcome, the evaluation looked at Canadians’ book consumption habits, the revenues of CBF-funded publishers, the diversity of Canadian-authored titles sold by program-funded publishers, and the effectiveness of program support for promotion and marketing. As for the third outcome, the following indicators were assessed: the number and diversity of publishers in Canada’s book industry, the long-term profit margin of Canadian book publishers, and the extent of their participation in new technologies and best practices.