Magazines Canada Policy Governance Model and Operational Guidelines

Approved by the Board of Directors January 09, 2024

About Magazines Canada

Magazines Canada is the national association representing Canadian-owned, Canadian-content consumer, cultural, specialty, professional and business magazines. French and English member titles offer topics including business, professional, news, politics, sports, arts and culture, leisure, lifestyle, women’s interests, and youth made available on multiple platforms. The association focuses on government relations, services to the advertising trade, circulation marketing and the development of career skills for and the recognition of excellence among the people who work in Canada’s magazine media.


Magazines Canada is a member-driven, not-for-profit organization. Magazines Canada believes in the inter-connected cultural and economic value of Canada’s magazine media.

Magazines Canada works to foster an environment where new magazines are nurtured, established magazines are supported, skills are developed and excellence is recognized. Its originating and continuing purpose is to promote the value of the sector in the creation and dissemination of original Canadian content on multiple platforms.

Guiding Principles

The association takes energy and direction from its members. Its strength lies in the diversity of its membership and the cohesiveness of members in support of its goals.

The association operates on the basis that each member is important. Its activities are determined by member needs. Its success is judged by its members.

The association is committed to taking a leadership role in identifying and acting upon public policy issues and trends as they affect members. It is the institutional memory for the industry.

The association takes pride in the credibility it has achieved and the relationships it has established with industry stakeholders including other related national and regional membership associations, industry suppliers and government departments and agencies.

Magazines Canada constantly works to maintain its position as a focal point within the industry and the lead advocate for Canada’s magazine media.

The focus of its Board of Directors is based on the association’s strategic direction, which places a particular emphasis on building robust market intelligence resources in the context of delivering pan-Canadian collaborative approaches to industry challenges and opportunities. 

The association strives to be open and ethical in all it does. It treats members and staff with dignity and respect. It strives for quality in all its undertakings.

Operational Guidelines

Magazines Canada is a not-for-profit corporation operating within a set of by-laws. Magazines Canada is incorporated federally. An elected volunteer board of directors and elected chair has the fiduciary responsibility for the corporation. The association employs a consulting firm with a dedicated person to take the role of Executive Director who is responsible for the executive direction of approved activities. In addition to its by-laws, and the requirements of the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, the association operates with policy governance operational guidelines as follows:

Objectives of the Guidelines

  • To be an effective tool to help Magazines Canada address short- to long-term issues as they arise in both a responsible and responsive manner;
  • To allow the Executive Director, consultants, and staff to develop and facilitate the implementation of Board policy in the service of the industry.

Responsibilities of the Board

  • Establish policies necessary to govern the programs, services, and performance of the organization in the context of the business plan approved annually by the Board.
  • Approach Board decision-making with an open mind and participate in making the best possible decisions for everyone involved.
  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in Board meetings.
  • Prepare for, attend, and participate in assigned committee meetings.
  • Be well informed on issues and agenda items that require the attention of the Board.
  • Work cooperatively with other Board members.
  • Respect and support the decisions of the Board.
  • Keep confidential information confidential.
  • Assist the Chair in a formal process that will recruit, employ, support, monitor, evaluate and, if necessary, terminate the Executive Director.
  • Give guidance to long-range planning and development.
  • Monitor the finances of the organization and assist in the budget process.
  • Represent the interests of all members served by the organization.
  • Represent the members and the organization to the broader community.
  • Board members must avoid situations where their personal interests will conflict with their duties to the association. Where conflicts of interest arise, board members will comply with the requirements of the by-laws and applicable legislation.

Roles in Policy Development

  • Policy Formation (creating) is the responsibility of the Board, consultants, committees, and administrative staff. Policy is based upon timely, clear information provided by members, committees and staff working through the Executive Director. The volunteer leadership brings knowledge of industry to policy development. Staff can apply the knowledge of day-to-day operations and practices of the organization. This information is cooperatively shaped into policy proposals reflected in the business plan approved annually by the Board.
  • Policy Determination (deciding) is the sole responsibility of the Board of Directors, not staff, individual volunteers, and/or committees. Boards alone have the legal responsibility, authority, and accountability for policy decisions. Policies become guidelines for staff work, programs, and committee activities. Policies are the vehicles for achieving organizational purposes and objectives. A reporting process should be determined at the time a policy is made.
  • Policy Implementation (doing) is the responsibility of the Executive Director, consultants, and staff. Staff has the task of carrying out policy so that these decisions influence day-to-day operations. The Executive Director may ask volunteers to help implement a policy. Committees take action with a clear mandate from the Board through the office of the Executive Director. In effect, all staff and volunteers taking Board-sanctioned action report through the Executive Director to the Board. When staff and committees seek to implement and interpret Board-approved policies, they can expect the support of the Board.
  • Policy Administration (enabling) is the sole responsibility of the Executive Director and the Executive Director’s staff. They are responsible for organizing the systems to make a policy operable (e.g., office procedures, staff assignments). Individual Board members neither supervise nor direct the staff.
  • Policy Evaluation (reviewing) is the responsibility of both Board and staff. It is important to regularly monitor the effectiveness and impact of policy decisions, and to make recommendations for continuation and change. This way, both the Board and staff can monitor the short- and long-range effects of a policy.

Committees of the Board

Magazines Canada’s Board of Directors may create committees, advisory groups, and other assemblies to pursue ongoing policy development or to address specific policy issues as per the specific process outlined in Magazines Canada’s governance policy operational guidelines herein. Committees operate within the legal structure of Magazines Canada reflected in the corporation’s by-laws. The committees and advisory groups are composed of industry professionals of all disciplines who volunteer their time and talent to the development and delivery of varied initiatives that serve the entire magazine media.

All committees, advisory groups, and the members therein are subject to the periodic review and approval of the Board of Directors. The board chair, Executive Director, and/or their designated representatives are members of all committees and advisory groups. Committees and advisory groups work within the context of the association’s Policy Governance Operational Guidelines herein.

The mandate, terms of reference and membership criteria of each committee (meaning any and all Board approved assemblies) create the framework within which a committee pursues its work. All committees with the exception of the Executive Committee are consultative and responsible to the Board of Directors.


Our Accessibility Policies

Customer Service Policies

Magazines Canada is committed to excellence in providing services and support to member publishers and to readers and customers who visit our website magazinescanada.ca.

We have taken steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of customers with disabilities. Upon hiring, our employees receive training on how to provide assistance to people with various disabilities.

In the event of a planned or unexpected disruption to service or facilities for customers with disabilities, Magazines Canada will notify customers promptly.

Your satisfaction is important to us. If you feel that these standards have not been met in your situation, please contact info@magazinescanada.ca.

Support Persons and Service Animals

We welcome people with disabilities to be accompanied by their support person or service animal. We will communicate with people with disabilities in ways that take into account their disability ensuring that they have the best customer service experience possible. If an attendee at a Magazines Canada-run event requires a support person to access that event, the support person will not be charged admission.

Accessible Emergency Information

Magazines Canada is committed to providing the customers and clients with publicly available emergency information in an accessible way upon request. We will also provide employees with disabilities with individualized emergency response information when necessary.

Internal Policies


Magazines Canada provides training to employees, volunteers and other staff members on Ontario’s accessibility laws and on the Human Rights Code as it relates to people with disabilities. Training is provided in a way that best suits the duties of employees, volunteers and other staff members.

Information and communications

Magazines Canada is committed to meeting the communication needs of people with disabilities. When asked, we will provide information and communications materials in accessible formats or with communication support. This includes publicly available information about our goods and services, as well as publicly available emergency information.

Magazines Canada will consult with people with disabilities to determine their information and communication needs.

Any of our policies that do not respect and promote the dignity and independence of people with disabilities will be modified or removed.

Our Privacy Policy

Magazines Canada is a not-for-profit member organization serving the interests of over 200 magazines across Canada. Magazines Canada provides cultural media development opportunities, training and consultation to both emerging and established Canadian publications as well as advocating on their behalf.

Does Magazines Canada share my email address?

Magazines Canada will not release your email address unless you give us permission to do so.

Magazines Canada Privacy Policy

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This site has reasonable security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and interception by third parties. Magazines Canada assumes no liability for interception, alteration or misuse of information transmitted over the Internet.

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Legal Information

LEGAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The following are some important things you should know before browsing the site.

A – Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

Magazines Canada is providing this website on an “AS IS, AS AVAILABLE” basis to users. Magazines Canada and its members make no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, about the accuracy, quality or completeness of the services, merchandise, content, information or links. This site may contain typographical errors and/or inaccuracies. Information is subject to change without notice. Magazines Canada and its members are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages that result from the use of or inability to use the site. This includes, but is not limited to, viruses, defects and delays. Users do so at their own risk.

B – Copyright

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Except where otherwise noted, all of the design, text, graphics, arrangement and software contained in magazinescanada.ca is copyright-protected material of Magazines Canada and/or of its members.