Thank You For Your Support for Artists

Today I'm grateful for the way Canada supports its arts and artists. 

Thank you for your support. IYKYK.

First, grants. I've been fortunate to receive several grants for my writing from the province of Ontario, through the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). 

Digression: I actually think of it as "my writing received the grant," because it has less to do with me as a human and more to do with the work I submitted. I strongly believe in this framing, whether your work is awarded a top prize or rejected by a literary journal. It's your work--not you.   

My work has been awarded what the OAC now calls "creation" grants to support the, uh, creation of a full-length work of poetry or prose. The OAC also has a "recommender" program, in which publishers in Ontario evaluate manuscripts and recommend some of the many manuscripts they receive to be awarded funding.

This year I received two recommender grants, one from Latitude 46 Publishing, the Sudbury publisher of MAKING UP THE GODS, and the other from The New Quarterly, a literary journal based in Waterloo, Ontario. They will help me revise my next novel, which I worked on during the pandemic with a creation grant. 

Yes, thank you for your support!

In addition to provincial (and in some cases city) grants programs, Canada has a couple of national programs. One is through Access Copyright, which distributes monies collected when entities pay to use copyrighted work. In recent years, educational institutions have challenged the legal concept of "fair use," and I'm grateful to The Writers Union of Canada for its ongoing advocacy that writers and artists continue to receive the payment they're legally entitled to.

Another nationwide program: The Canada Council for the Arts administers the Public Lending Right Program, which compensates writers when their books are included in the collections of Canadian libraries. (Yay, libraries!) This is one of my favourite programs, in part because the payment helps support writers--in some cases, substantially--and in part because it lets people read library books without wondering if they're hurting a writer they know. They're not! 

Again, I appreciate the ongoing advocacy of The Writers Union of Canada for their continued commitment to remind the current federal government of a promise to increase funding for the Public Lending Right Program. 

Both the Canada Council and the Access Copyright Foundation also administer granting programs to support writers in the creation of new work. 

In short, Canada values its artists and supports them. Are the programs perfect? Absolutely not--equity for historically under-selected groups is still an issue. Is Canada unique in supporting artists and writers? Again, no. 

In my free-range dissatisfaction that (waves hands) everything in the world isn't perfect, I want to remind myself of the good that does exist. And these programs exist. I'm glad, and I'm grateful to be able to participate.