Magazines Canada Policy Governance Model and Operational Guidelines

Approved by the Board of Directors September 24, 2012

About Magazines Canada

Magazines Canada is the national association representing Canadian-owned, Canadian-content consumer, cultural, specialty, professional and business magazines. French, English, Indigenous and ethnic member titles cover a wide range of interests, trades and communities across the country and across multiple platforms. Topics include arts and culture, business and professional, lifestyle and food, news and politics, sports and leisure, women and youth. The association serves Canadian magazines through the core services of government affairs, retail distribution, professional development and research.


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, committees, advisory groups and staff is based on the association’s Strategic Planning Framework, adopted in November 2017. The framework directs the organization to be focused and flexible. Magazines Canada will move forward and remain responsive to the industry’s constantly evolving ecosystem and the expectations this environment creates. The scope of association activity will serve member aspirations for service and innovation within more limited resources. While the directors recognize that this is no small task, they have confidence in staff leadership and are fully committed to ensuring that the association meets its member-driven goals and objectives.

Magazines Canada members can review the Strategic Planning Framework in detail by logging in here.

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 members can access the by-laws by logging in here. Magazines Canada is incorporated federally. An elected volunteer board of directors and elected chair has the fiduciary responsibility for the corporation. The association employs an 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 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.

Roles in Policy Development

  • Policy Formation (creating) is the responsibility of the Board, 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 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 (i.e., office procedures, staff assignments, etc.). 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 Policy Governance Operational Guidelines. 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, and our webstore, Canada’s Magazine Store canadasmagazinestore.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.

Personal assistive devices are permitted and unrestricted in all areas of Magazines Canada’s office and building to which the public has access.

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 Evan Dickson at edickson@magazinescanada.ca or 416.994.6471 / 1.877.238.8354 x222.

Support Persons and Service Animals

We welcome people with disabilities to be accompanied by their support person or service animal. Service animals are allowed in our office, and in parts of the building that are open to the public. 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

Emergency and public safety

Evacuation procedure: When there is a fire alarm, the elevator does not function. A staircase is available for evacuation, located on the floor plan of the offices, attached here. Staff will assist anyone in the office at that time requiring assistance in evacuating the building.

Alarm: Staff have keys to the building and office and are trained on how to activate and deactivate the alarm. If the alarm is activated accidentally, it is reported to the Executive Director of Magazines Canada and is resolved with the alarm company.

Safety: The building manager notifies the office in advance of any appointments or maintenance work scheduled in the suite. Anyone that arrives unannounced to do work in the office is reported to the building manager.


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 supports. This includes publicly available information about our goods, services and facilities, as well as publicly available emergency information.

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


Magazines Canada is committed to fair and accessible employment practices and this policy is distributed to all employees. When requested, Magazines Canada will accommodate people with disabilities during the recruitment and assessment processes and when people are hired. Upon hiring or during the recruitment process, new employees and volunteers are invited to confidentially disclose to the General Manager or their recruiter any disability that may require accommodation.

Magazines Canada will provide reasonable accommodation for current and potential staff with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not impose undue hardship on Magazines Canada. As per the guidelines of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, three considerations may be considered under Ontario law to determine if an accommodation constitutes an undue hardship:

  1. cost
  2. outside sources of funding, if any
  3. health and safety requirements, if any.

Design of Public Spaces

Magazines Canada of Canada will meet the Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces when building or making major modifications to public spaces. Public spaces include:

  • Recreational trails/beach access routes
  • Accessible off street parking
  • Service-related elements like service counters, fixed queuing lines and waiting areas

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 350 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. The consumer portion of the website (Canada’s Magazine Store) is part of a national marketing campaign created to bring a broad range of Canadian magazines to Canadians.

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

We may use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our website. Our site does not use cookies.


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.

Unsubscribe From Electronic Communications

Subscribers to our e-newsletters can withdraw their consent to receive electronic communications at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email, or by notifying the sender by replying to the email.

Contacting Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site or your dealings with the website, contact Magazines Canada:
416.994.6471 / 1.877.238.8354

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

© Magazines Canada 2010–2024 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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.