2020 Year in Review and Holiday Hours

Holiday Hours

Magazines Canada’s office will close for the holidays Friday, December 18 and reopen Monday, January 4.

If your magazine is distributed by Magazines Canada, the Brampton distribution warehouse (Tilwood—address below) will also be closed as of Tuesday, December 22 at 4 pm (ET) and reopen Monday, January 4.

To make the last shipment of the year for Magazines Canada stores, we will need to have copies at Tilwood before end of day Monday, December 14. Please do not have magazines shipped for distribution when the warehouse is closed.

Magazines Canada Distribution
c/o Tilwood Inc.
420 Deerhurst Drive, Unit 4
Brampton, ON L6T 5H9

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Magazines Canada 2020: A Year in Review

With the end of the year fast approaching, we wanted to take a moment and review what it’s meant to be a Magazines Canada member in 2020.

Here at Magazines Canada, we are incredibly grateful for your membership. As our Executive Director Melanie Rutledge wrote to members earlier this year, “We exist to serve you and to help you achieve nothing less than resounding success in your publishing activities, even in uncertain times like these.”

Here is what we’ve achieved, together, this year:

COVID-19 and Support for the Industry

When the COVID-19 lockdowns began in March, Magazines Canada heard swiftly from members about the financial impact on publisher revenues. We advocated directly with the federal government to see what could be done to help our sector, and our efforts were successful—in July, Minister for Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault announced a series of vital supports for the Canadian magazine publishing sector during COVID-19.

With your help, Magazines Canada leveraged $60 million in additional federal funding for Canadian magazine publishers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included $15 million in top-ups to publishers who receive support through the Canada Periodical Fund Aid to Publishers component and through the Canada Council for the Arts, and $45 million via the Special Measures for Journalism emergency support fund for publishers that do not normally receive funding from either the CPF Aid to Publishers component or the Canada Council for the Arts. Without our collective effort, these extraordinary commitments could not have been secured.

In October, Magazines Canada Executive Director Melanie Rutledge gave an overview of the federal government’s funding programs, and Magazines Canada’s efforts to secure continued funding for Canadian magazines, at a webinar hosted by BPA Worldwide. BPA Worldwide has kindly shared the session recording with Magazines Canada members; it is available to watch here.

Continued Retail Distribution Service

Our retail distribution service was severely curtailed during the COVID-19 lockdowns. But that doesn’t mean that distribution came to a halt! When the lockdowns first began, Chris Chambers, Magazines Canada’s Manager of Retail Accounts, contacted each and every one of our retailers and was able to run several small invoices to retailers who remained open to the browsing public throughout the pandemic. Chris also reached out to distributed members in advance of new issues to carefully manage draw numbers, and began providing regular updates about our retail distribution service at our weekly member town halls, as well as via member bulletins.

A number of members have told us how much they appreciate Chris’s insight and experience, especially in these times. We second that—more than half of our members are distributed by Magazines Canada, and helping magazines reach readers is a critical service! The disruption required ongoing adaptation and individualized solutions for both members and retailers.

We’re still hard at work, and new retailers are still out there looking for magazines. In fact, five new retailers have joined Magazines Canada Distribution since the pandemic started in March.

Virtual MagNet 2020

Not surprisingly, MagNet looked a little different in 2020 (didn’t everything?). For the first time, we presented our signature event as a fully virtual conference on November 26–27 so that we could come together and learn as an industry. Thank you to everyone for your support as we transitioned MagNet to a virtual event; it was with your help and input that we were able to offer the programming and networking that you expect from the conference, online!

Over 300 delegates registered for virtual MagNet 2020 to connect, network and learn with 30+ of our industry’s leaders and innovators at 14 sessions, keynotes and networking events. Each day began with a Marquee keynote presentation, followed by breakout sessions in three different program streams: Business media-focused sessions tackled revenue diversity, digital innovation and disinformation; consumer-focused sessions explored what makes a great print product, new revenue models and global trends; and arts and literary-focused sessions picked up where last year’s Arts & Literary Magazines Summit left off, with a continued focus on diversity, cultural critique, and marketing and promotions.

We recognized the inspiring work of industry volunteers with our Volunteer of the Year awards at MagNet, which celebrate outstanding volunteer contributions to the Canadian magazine industry. This year’s recipients were: Annex Business Media’s Scott Jamieson, FreeFall magazine’s Micheline Maylor and the Inuit Art Quarterly‘s Alysa Procida. Our congratulations again to this wonderful group of people for their ongoing commitment to giving back to Canadian magazines.

Want to revisit a MagNet session or catch up on presentations that you may have missed? Delegates can login to the event platform with their email address and watch recorded sessions on-demand in the MagNet Theatre until November 2021. Many of the session slides are also available for download in the platform Resource Centre.

New Resources and Member Opportunities

As we navigate this new normal, Magazines Canada continued to create and share resources to help members learn from each other throughout the year, as well as offer supportive programs that invest in our industry.

This includes new resources like our Age of Disinformation series, made possible with support from the Government of Canada via the Department of Canadian Heritage, which shares tools, strategies and best practices for Canadian magazine professionals to combat disinformation and misinformation. In uncertain times, being prepared against disinformation matters more than ever. The Age of Disinformation resource series offers plenty of practical tips, take-aways and solid analysis on disinformation, equipping members to promote the trusted-ness of Canadian magazine media to audiences and advertisers.

Here’s a look at more of the timely resources we released this year:

  • Hotsheets: We published 14 Hotsheets in 2020. In this popular series of short articles, each Hotsheet delivers current information on a single topic, written by an expert in the field. This year’s Hotsheets focus on working remotely as a team, membership programs, monetizing podcasts, content licensing, editorial bias, and much more.
  • AudioMags: In 2020 we produced 11 episodes in our ongoing podcast series. Check out in-depth conversations with writer Don Gillmor, UPPERCASE publisher Janine Vangool, [EDIT] editor-in-chief James Mullinger, BASHY publisher Sharine Taylor, and many more. Plus: We produced a number of COVID-19 special episodes this year, including a two-part series checking in on members and their experience during the pandemic called “COVID-19 From All Angles.”
  • Webinars: Magazines Canada brought 8 knowledge-sharing webinars your way in 2020. Members always have full access to our webinar archive to watch webinars on demand; the 2020 series covers topics such as reader retention; working with guest editors; social media for magazine brands; writing grant applications; and revenue models for online tools.

Like our ongoing commitment to online professional development, every year Magazines Canada provides member opportunities and programs that support and invest in our industry.

The Travelling Consultants Program matched magazines throughout the year with experts for a one-on-one, full day consultation—and yes, most of these consultations were held virtually! This members-only program remains a great opportunity for magazines looking for expert advice to meet an industry leader and get guidance and fresh perspectives on a specific area of their choice.

In these challenging times, the National Paid Internship Program had a direct, bottom-line impact by creating and supporting paid work opportunities at Canadian magazines. Interns could also work remotely, so that publishers could hire up-and-coming talent right away. Made possible with support from the Government of Canada via the Department of Canadian Heritage, the 2020 National Paid Internship program helped 10 Magazines Canada members across the country hire new, skilled talent during the pandemic this year.

We also began accepting applications for members to attend virtual events via our Export Readiness and Networking Program. In the past, this program supported registration and travel for members to attend international events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we pivoted this program from a limited number of trips to live conferences to an open call to members to attend online professional conferences. Magazines Canada sent virtual delegations to the 2020 FIPP World Congress in September and the Business Information Media Summit in December. We are supporting registration for other online events until April 2021! Visit magazinescanada.ca/program/export to learn more and apply to attend online events for free.

Online Member Town Halls

In early April, Magazines Canada began holding online member town hall meetings to give our team the opportunity to update members on important initiatives, and to give members direct access to our team to ask questions and get answers. Now held regularly on the third Thursday of every month, the town halls have become a forum for sharing information and best practices amongst the membership, and have also expanded to include a digital roundtable conversation among members. Our next town hall will be held on Thursday, January 21 at 2 pm (ET)—mark your calendar now to join us and your colleagues in conversation!

Welcome New Members!

And finally, what year in review would be complete without taking note of the 25 magazines that joined the association this year? Welcome to our 2020 member magazines!

From our team to yours—We look forward to continuing to work with all of our members in 2021!

Best wishes,
Magazines Canada staff


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