Update: LPG Funding Reinstated
Update: Earlier in June, we announced that the Canadian Government had withdrawn its funding of the Literary Press Group (LPG), the sales force that currently represents Coach House and 46 other Canadian independent publishers. We're now very relieved to report that the decision has been revoked. On June 14, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore gave verbal notice that the LPG's funding will be reinstated for the coming fiscal year. The LPG is now awaiting formal confirmation of the decision.
In a statement on their website, the LPG says: 'We remain grateful for the support that the Department of Canadian Heritage has provided for this endeavour since 1992. This government’s commitment to the arts rings through best when everyday Canadians are prepared to step forward and demonstrate how much they mean.
'We are grateful for the overwhelming public support we received from Canadian readers, writers, publishers, and industry colleagues. '
Read the full statement at lpg.ca.
See below for the initial announcement concerning the withdrawal of funds
As some of you may know, the Literary Press Group is Coach House's sales force within Canada, and last week (while most of Coach House was away at Book Expo America), the Literary Press Group was delivered a crushing blow to their ability to sell books.
On Monday, June 4, 2012, the Literary Press Group (LPG) of Canada received word that the Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) decided to end its financial support of the LPG's activities for the fiscal year that began on April 1, 2012. As a result, the LPG is obliged to shut down its sales force, an essential operation that sells not only Coach House's titles, but brings hundreds of new Canadian-authored books from 47 Canadian-owned publishers to bookstores and libraries every year.
Without the LPG, authors and publishers lose their access to their readers, and Canadian readers lose easy and affordable access to Canada’s literary culture.
The DCH funding represented approximately one third of the LPG’s operating budget and was its single largest revenue source. While the LPG's finances are otherwise strong, a loss of this size means that the LPG will not be able to continue operation in its current form. The LPG will continue to sell Coach House's fall 2012 titles, but it will have to lay off all field sales representatives as of August 31, 2012 and most head-office staff will be released on November 30, 2012.
Coach House will keep you posted on the story as it develops. In the meantime, you can read more about the situation on the LPG's website, or at the Quill & Quire. And if you're wondering what you can do to help, the LPG has outlined a few suggestions. We also hope you'll send messages of support and gratitude to the LPG sales representatives and staff during this dark hour in Canadian publishing.