Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ontario's public arts funding... for the win



This past Tuesday, I was privileged to attend the award announcements for the 75th anniversary Governor General's Literary Awards. The GG's, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, awards close to $450,000 in prize money and gifts to a diverse list of Canadian books each year.

Back in the day (before I was an arts funder) I used to study award announcements hoping to find those authors I most admired, and to make a winter reading list. Nowadays, I also apply a different lens. As I sat in the audience on Tuesday, I made a mental note of each winner with a history at the Ontario Arts Council.* After the first few wins, I began to lose count.


Counting authors, illustrators and publishers (winning publishers receive a small cash award to help with promoting the winning book) on the final English language list, there were 14 possible "wins" for the OAC at this year's GG ceremony.

OAC has a direct funding history with 10 out of the 14.

This is marvelous national recognition for both the peerless Ontario writing and publishing community, and the public arts funding that supports and nurtures it.

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's GG Literary Awards, and a great big Ontario Arts Council shout out to:

Christopher Moore
Tundra Books
Phil Hall
BookThug
House of Anansi Press
Erin Shields
Playwrights Canada Press
Charles Foran
Cybรจle Young
Kids Can Press


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*My office at the Ontario Arts Council deals only with English-language books, writers and publishers. A separate office, the Franco-Ontarian Arts Office supports the French-language literary sector.

5 comments:

Tools For English said...

Nice! Really cool stuff and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

tools for english

Brian said...

Speaking of publishing a quick question. I read that Amazon offers free e-book selling online for Canadian authors but you have to have an American tax number to get back taxes that are automatically taken off. (At least Canadians can get free ISBN numbers). Annoyingly, Europe do not have to do this but Canadians do. Do you know of a Canadian e-book site that does e-book selling without all the tax annoyance?

John said...

Hi Brian,

I'm afraid I don't know all the implications of e-book selling in Canada, but I have noticed that the location of the seller, and tax implications are in the news. Is Amazon not fighting against having to collect and pay sales tax in California. It's an interesting question for global economics.

Not sure whether or not Kobo (still located in canada despite Japanese majority owners) takes on individual authors, but I think they do. I'm pretty sure I heard a Kobo rep talk about that at the Writers Union AGM last spring.

Wait, just found the info page for Kobo here:

http://www.kobobooks.com/companyinfo/authorsnpublishers.html

enjoy

John said...

http://www.kobobooks.com/companyinfo/
authorsnpublishers.html

Brian said...

Thank you!