Arts and heritage organizations contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of all regions. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that readers across the country have access to a wide range of Canadian-authored books.
Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament (Sherbrooke), on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced funding of $50,000 over two years for the Centre d’élaboration des moyens d’enseignement du Québec (CEMEQ). This funding will help support the Centre’s publishing activities as part of a new initiative that supports the production and distribution of accessible digital books.
The support will help the publishing house develop a business plan to convert learning guides for accessibility purposes and to develop a new version of the Médiathèque to distribute accessible digital versions of the guides.
The Government of Canada is providing this funding through the Support for Publishers component of the Canada Book Fund. This component supports the production and marketing of Canadian-authored books and strengthens capacity and competitiveness in the sector.
In addition, the support is part of a new initiative to help the Canadian book industry integrate accessibility features into the production and distribution of digital books (including audio books) so that they can be used by people with print disabilities.
“Books are a wonderful tool for development and cultural outreach. In addition to opening new horizons for us, books are a way for us to define ourselves collectively and present ourselves to the world. Our government is proud to support this country’s publishers. We want more Canadians to have access to a wide range of Canadian books, including accessible digital books.”
-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“With this support, this Canadian company will be able to continue producing guides and materials that promote the transfer of knowledge. Our government is very pleased to support publishers like this one, who produce excellent books in all genres.”
-Élisabeth Brière, Member of Parliament (Sherbrooke) and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions)
“CEMEQ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer quality educational tools in professional training. The funding from the Canada Book Fund is an opportunity for CEMEQ to work with expert consultants and make use of innovative technologies that allow it to distribute its digital content using an open model by increasing accessibility for people with perceptual disabilities. CEMEQ thanks the Canada Book Fund for its support for this major project.”
-Alain Sirois, Executive Director, Centre d’élaboration des moyens d’enseignement du Québec
With a budget of $39.1 million, the Canada Book Fund enables Canadian Heritage to support around 300 Canadian publishers and book industry organizations each year.
The Support for Publishers component of the Canada Book Fund provides annual support of $30.7 million to approximately 250 Canadian-owned publishers.
In Budget 2019, the Government announced an investment of $22.8 million over five years to develop an initiative to ensure the sustainability of the production and distribution of accessible books by independent Canadian publishers, with the support of the Canada Book Fund.
The Sherbrooke-based Centre d’élaboration des moyens d’enseignement was founded in 1992. It publishes textbooks and specializes in technical manuals for vocational students, in collaboration with Quebec school boards. In 2019-2020, the publisher also received $274,450 in funding through the Support for Publishers component of the Canada Book Fund. The organization has been receiving funding from the Canada Book Fund since 2013-2014.
Each year, publishers receiving funding from the Canada Book Fund publish about 6,500 new Canadian-authored books. They employ approximately 2,500 Canadians, and their collective sales of Canadian-authored books amount to almost $390 million, of which $120 million is derived from exports to around 100 different markets.