Title and statement of responsibility area
Association of Canadian Publishers fonds
General material designation
- Photographic material
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title of the fonds is based on its provenance.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1951 - 1985 (Creation)
- Association of Canadian Publishers
Physical description area
14 m of textual records
ca. 50 photographs
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
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.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of the official records of the Independent Publishers Association and its 1976 successor, the Association of Canadian Publishers. The fonds documents the 1971 founding and the first ten years of operation of the ACP and its activities to strengthen and expand the Canadian-owned publishing industry through government action, co-operation between publishing houses and liaison with other associations.
The records contain substantial information and analysis of the English language Canadian publishing industry during this period and of its specialized sectors such as children's book, educational, scholarly, music and paperback publishing. They document the founding and operation of ACP affiliates: the Literary Press Group, Association of Book Publishers of BC and the Atlantic and Alberta Publishers Associations. The records reveal the concerns of these regional and specialized groups and of the industry as a whole and detail the remedial strategies formulated for problems of warehousing and distribution, censorship, production costs, promotion, foreign sales and foreign ownership. The ACP was a sustaining member of the Book and Periodical Development Council and the Canadian Copyright Institute and amassed minutes and papers from these organizations.
The collection reflects the cultural and economic nationalism that emerged in Canada during the 1970's. It offers significant information about federal and provincial government policies, initiatives and funding programs in aid of book publishing and on related issues such as copyright, Canadian learning materials development and the book tariff. Substantial records have been maintained on the Canada Council and its Book Purchase Program, the Ontario Arts Council, and the federal ministries of Secretary of State and Industry, Trade and Commerce. An extensive collection of briefs to the 1971 Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing is also included.
The records document Canadian publishers' participation in foreign book fairs and the Montreal Book Fair. Detailed records have been maintained on the proceedings of ACP publishing policy conferences and publishers' professional development seminars. Considerable documentation exists about the interaction between the ACP and associations and individuals representing libraries, educational institutions, booksellers and writers.
Significant correspondents with ACP staff and executive members include Dave Arnason, Beth Appeldoorn, Katherine Benzekri, Bill Bissett, Sally Bryers, Fred Cogswell, William Darnell, Jane Dobell, Robin Farr, Hugh Faulkner, W.E.P. Fleck, Nancy Fleming, Graeme Gibson, Shirley Gibson, Alastair Gillespie, Peter Grant, David Hancock, Ralph Hodgson, Jack Horner, Campbell Hughes, Paul Irwin, Don Jamieson, Luc Jutras, Naim Kattan, Susan Katz, Peter Kidd, Frank Keyes, Sheila Kieran, Georges Laberge, Patricia Lagace, John LeBel, Jack McClelland, David MacDonald, Roy MacSkimming, John Main, Gladys Neale, Jacqueline Nestman-Hushion, Gordon Pallant, J.Z. Leon Patenaude, Ellen Powers, Eva Radford, Bernie Rath, Angela Rebeiro, Ed Roberts, Toivo Roht, Dan Rosborough, Clyde Rose, Karl Seigler, Roy Sharpe, Alan Shute, Annabel Slaight, David Spence, Steve Stevanovic, Jack Stoddart, Anthony Toth, Linda Turnbull, Glen Whitmer and Randall Ware.
Included are the constitution, bylaws, letters patent, correspondence, reports, briefs, speeches and transcripts, budgets, financial statements, newsletters, brochures, catalogues, articles, clippings, press releases, minutes, and photographs.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds were purchased from the Association of Canadian Publishers for the Simon Fraser University Archives in 1989 by a SSHRC grant to the SFU Centre for Studies in Canadian Publishing.
The materials were arranged by the Archivist.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as stipulated by Archives policy or the donor. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Series descriptions and file lists are available. Lists of charter members, executive officers and committees are available in the hard copy version of the finding aid maintained in the Archives Reading Room.
All accessions have been processed as of September 2002. No further accruals are expected.
The predominant date of the material is 1970-1985.
Physical description: 1 photograph located in F-57-5-1-3
Physical description: 26 photographs located in F-57-5-9-11
Physical description: 3 photographs located in F-57-15-1-3
Physical description: 4 photographs found in F-57-9-2-29
Physical description: 2 photographs found in F-57-9-2-32
Physical description: 1 photograph found in F-57-9-2-33
Physical description: 3 photographs located in F-57-15-1-3
Standard number area
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Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Finding aid prepared by Jane Parkinson, Frances Fournier, Ian Forsyth, Enid Britt (January 1999).
Finding aid updated by Richard Dancy (January 2006).