On May 5, Magazines Canada CEO Matthew Holmes along with Magazines Canada Board Chair and President of St. Joseph Media, Douglas Knight, appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as part of the committee’s study of the Media and Local Communities.
The committee’s study is broad in scope. Since February it has been examining how Canadians, and especially local communities, are informed about local and regional experiences through news, broadcasting, digital and print media. It has heard testimony from 56 witnesses to date, and Magazines Canada is one of them.
Matthew Holmes and Douglas Knight gave an overview of Canada’s magazine media sector, highlighting the sector’s $2 billion economic contribution, as well as its employment contribution, directly creating tens of thousands of high-quality, knowledge-economy jobs. They stressed that while the sector is a leader in digital innovation, print readership remains strong, also. It is therefore important to support the sector across print and digital platforms. They emphasized the need to maintain the federal policy framework for the sector, including the Canada Periodical Fund. Douglas Knight spoke further about the importance of the committee’s study and discussed some of the key challenges facing publishers.
The committee members appreciated and were very engaged by Magazines Canada’s presentation, asking a number of questions of Board Chair Douglas Knight.
The study will likely continue into the fall of this year. Committees usually issue a report with recommendations at a study’s conclusion. Magazines Canada will continue to closely monitor the activities of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as they relate to the study on the Media and Local Communities, as well as other areas of work.