Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Association of Canadian Publishers
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Interim Council of Canadian Publishers (1970 - 1971)
- Independent Publishers Association (1971 - 1976)
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) has its origins in the 'Emergency Committee of Canadian Publishers', formed in Toronto in November 1970 to protest against the sale of Ryerson Press to an American-owned company. In the following months the group worked under the name of the 'interim Council of Canadian Publishers' while the permanent association was being organized. During this time a brief was presented to the federal government discussing the problems facing the Canadian book publishing industry. A founding meeting on February 19th and 20th, 1971 brought together the charter members of the new association (Appendix A).
At the first general meeting, held in late April 1971, the name 'Independent Publishers Association' (IPA) was adopted and an executive was elected (Appendix B). The constitution outlined that the first objective of the IPA was "to work for the maintenance of strong competitive book publishing houses owned and controlled in Canada" and Active membership was limited to Canadian firms which had published a minimum of 5 original Canadian titles. Associate membership was available to those that supported the IPA's objectives but did not meet the titles' criteria. The Executive in accordance with policies laid down by the general membership governed the Association on a day-to-day basis. Three committees were created at the first general meeting: Government Relations, Educational Publishing and Co-operative Promotion (Appendix C).
The IPA obtained funding from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. It operated through the offices of the Book Society and House of Anansi until acquiring its own office in Toronto in 1972. The Association hired its first Executive Director, Paul Audley, in January 1974, to work with 3 staff members. By 1974 the IPA had 40 Active members and 32 Associate members.
In addition to the issue of foreign ownership, some of the particular concerns of IPA members during this period were a lack of awareness of Canadian titles amongst the general public; the shortage of government funding; American dominance of the mass-market paperback and educational publishing fields; the disadvantages faced by small publishers in matching the sales force, warehousing and fulfillment operations of the large foreign subsidiaries; and an alarming increase in the price of paper. Researching these problems and designing co-operative strategies to overcome them was the focus of much of the IPA staff and executive's time and effort.
A federal government policy on book publishing was announced in early 1972 and the IPA participated in instituting two of the new programs. The Association for the Export of Canadian Books (AECB), funded by the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce, sent Canadian representatives and books to foreign book fairs and established promotional agencies, known as Books Canada, in New York, London and Paris. The Book Purchase Program involved the purchase of Canadian titles by the Canada Council for distribution to Canadian consulates and libraries around the world. In later years the book kits were sent to small Canadian libraries. The IPA administered the warehousing and shipping of the selected titles.
Canadabooks, established by the IPA in 1974, grew out of the Canadian Educational Resources Project. It was a co-operative marketing organization providing promotional services to members who paid a commission on their reported sales to educational markets. The same year Canadian Basic Books evolved out of a trial project called Backlist. The program aimed to increase the stock of proven Canadian past sellers in bookstores. The Canadian Book Information Centre, earlier known as the Promotion and Information Centre, assumed responsibility for the ambitious display and book promotion activities of the IPA. Each of these programs was open to all Canadian-owned publishers, regardless of their membership in the IPA. The Canadian Publishers Project Co-ordinating Committee, which included non-IPA publishers, oversaw their development and funding while a project manager was responsible for the operation of each.
Beginning in 1974 with the formation of the BC Publishers Group, regional and special interest publishers began to organize to pursue common goals. The Literary Press Group was established in February 1975 with affiliate status and administrative assistance of the IPA. The Music Publishers Group formed in 1974. The Alberta Publishers and Atlantic Publishers Associations were created in 1975 and 1976.
Dissatisfied with government response to their concerns, IPA members had pursued for some time the formation of an umbrella organization to accommodate all the associations concerned with the book trade in Canada. The Book and Periodical Development Council, founded in January 1975, joined together the IPA, Canadian Periodical Publishers Association, Canadian Booksellers Association, Canadian Library Association, Periodical Distributors of Canada and the Writers Union in order to present a united front in lobbying the federal government, and to provide a structure for developing common policies in the industry. Paul Audley served as the BPDC Acting Director while Arden Ford became Assistant Director of the IPA.
In early 1976 a number of major firms which had maintained membership in both the IPA and the Canadian Book Publishers Council (CBPC) withdrew from the CBPC. Wishing to assert a new identity as the major trade organization of Canadian-owned firms, the IPA changed its name to the Association of Canadian Publishers, incorporated as a no-share capital corporation and altered the Association's objectives to encourage firstly the "writing, publishing, distribution and promotion of books written by Canadian authors." The ACP placed increased emphasis on promoting Canadian books abroad and began a series of professional development seminars for members.
It was perceived that the rapid growth of the IPA had resulted in an unwieldy structure and at the 1976 annual meeting, a new structure was adopted with three additional vice-presidents to oversee the various committees and projects. Another restructuring occurred in 1978 and the ACP Council returned to the format of an executive supplemented by committee chairs.
Paul Audley left the ACP in 1977 and was replaced by Arden Ford as Administrative Director while Patsy Aldana filled the role of Executive Director. In 1980 Phyllis Yaffe became Executive Director and Jane Springer replaced Libby Oughton as Associate Director. By the spring of 1980 the ACP had 70 Active members and 48 Associate members.