Al­berta book pub­lish­ers get $300,000 pro­vin­cial boost

Local peo­ple get help telling local sto­ries through an­nual fund­ing, says min­is­ter

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - RYAN RUMBOLT RRum­bolt@post­media.com On Twit­ter: @RCRum­bolt

Book pub­lish­ers in Al­berta learned Fri­day they are get­ting more than a quar­ter-mil­lion­dol­lars in an­nual fund­ing from the prov­ince.

Ri­cardo Mi­randa, Al­berta min­is­ter of cul­ture and tourism, was joined by Alexan­der Fin­bow, pres­i­dent of the Book Pub­lish­ers Association of Al­berta, to make the an­nounce­ment to a crowd of au­thors and pub­lish­ers at Ho­tel Arts in down­town Cal­gary.

Mi­randa said the prov­ince is com­mit­ting $300,000 in an­nual fund­ing over the next four years for Al­berta book pub­lish­ers and stressed the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing arts in­dus­tries.

He said the fund­ing will help local pub­lish­ers share Al­ber­tan con­tent with the world and cre­ate jobs and “di­ver­sify our econ­omy.”

“It is cer­tainly our de­sire, as a gov­ern­ment, to cre­ate these op­por­tu­ni­ties ... to build a strong econ­omy to­gether,” Mi­randa said on Fri­day.

“As one of our cul­tural in­dus­tries, book pub­lish­ing is in­valu­able to our econ­omy and we recognize how im­por­tant your in­dus­try is in pre­serv­ing and shar­ing Al­berta’s cul­ture with the world and en­sur­ing our sto­ries con­tinue to be told by us,” he said.

Fin­bow, an Al­berta-based au­thor and pub­lisher at Can­more’s Rene­gade Arts En­ter­tain­ment, joined forces with Win­nipeg il­lus­tra­tor Nyco Ru­dolph in 2017 for the book When Big Bears In­vade.

The story re­volves around a num­ber of en­raged gi­ant bears lev­el­ling cities and towns in Canada, in­clud­ing Cal­gary, as a re­sponse to the en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tion to their habi­tat.

The fund­ing is from the Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Tax Credit “to boost sup­port to the in­dus­try” and pro­vide growth op­por­tu­ni­ties “by help­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions em­ploy tal­ented pro­fes­sion­als, de­velop in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and cre­ate qual­ity prod­ucts,” the prov­ince said in a re­lease.

“The qual­ity and di­ver­sity of Al­berta pub­lished books pro­vides tremen­dous value to Al­berta by shar­ing sto­ries of and from our prov­ince, and this ad­di­tional fund­ing is a great sup­port for the in­dus­try,” Fin­bow said in a re­lease.

Founded in 1975, the Book Pub­lish­ers Association of Al­berta rep­re­sents nearly 30 pub­lish­ers across the prov­ince from post­sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions to pri­vate busi­nesses. The association also holds work­shops and pro­grams for as­pir­ing au­thors and pub­lish­ers, as well as the an­nual Al­berta Book Awards, cel­e­brat­ing ex­cel­lence in pub­lish­ing in the prov­ince.

The prov­ince said the bookpub­lish­ing in­dus­try con­trib­uted more than $18 mil­lion to the pro­vin­cial GDP in 2016 and ac­counted for more than 170 jobs in Al­berta.

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