Canada Council for the Arts Funding- Notes on Presentation

Canada Council for the Arts Presentation

New Funding Model

10 August 2016 – VPL

Fouad Matar,

Organized by Carol Shaben, The Writers Union,


Writers are able to access funding in two ways:

  • Indirect support – funding is given to literary organizations and collectives, along with publishers who may apply for promotion grants
  • Direct support – for “established” writers, “mid-career” writers, and “emerging” writers – the later may be eligible with one published book or 4 short fiction works of at least 10,000 words total, but the publisher must be a traditional publisher or a listed literary magazine (the CCA has a list of eligible magazines on its website)

Professional Canadian writers, and other artists, are eligible for grants if:

  • They have specialized training in the field (this does not have to be a degree in writing)
  • Are recognized as a professional writer by their peers
  • Have a history of public presentation

“Self-publishers are not accepted because the CCA has no leverage over them.” Traditional publishers can have their CAA funding stopped if their actions or procedures do not maintain a sufficiently high level.


Effective in 2017. Guidelines available in December, with application submissions after 1 April 2017.

Grants will be offered for “Explore and Create” projects, including:

  • Professional development
  • Research and creation
  • Concept to realization
  • Travel and residencies abroad

Applications may be discussed with Fouad prior to submission.

It is mandatory that the grant guidelines and assessment criteria are complied with.

There are 2 critical sections to the application:

  • 2-page project description or proposal
  • 15 to 25 (maximum!) writing sample – this does not have to be from any part of the project

Grant application may be made for any part of a project, such as initial research, writer’s editing (not professional editing), first draft, etc.

Success rate for project grants has been up to 20%, while travel grants have been 50 to 75%.

Applications will be peer-reviewed. There will be 700 creative writers from across Canada in the list of reviewers. They will include all genres and a mix of emerging to established writers.

Applications are being accepted for the role of reviewer.

Responses to applications will be:

  • For travel grants, within 3 months
  • For creative projects, with 5 months

Public Lending Right (PLR) Program

Annual payments are distributed to authors for payment as compensation for free public access to their books in libraries.

In 2015-16, the PLR distributed $9.75 million in payments to 17,169 authors.

Authors must register for their eligible works between 15 February to 1 May 2017.


CCA officers phone: 800-263-5588 ext 5060


A Review of Caitlin Hicks “A Theory of Expanded Love”

Foreward Reviews

unnamed‘Caitlin Hicks begins this story of tradition and redemption in the months leading up to Kennedy’s assassination, when all manner of possibilities seemed open to good little Catholic girls. Ensconced in the middle of a noisy Irish family of fifteen and perched at the edge of her teen years, Annie Shea knows that she’s on the cusp of spiritual greatness.  She weaves tales of her heavenward ascension for awed classmates, trading on the potential papacy of a family friend and her maybe-vocation as a selfless bride of Christ.

‘Yet, Annie discovers that even very blessed Catholics are sometimes faced with tribulations. Hers begin with an uncovered and faded photograph of her mother in a wedding gown, standing next to a soldier who is most definitely not her father. Propelled by a thirst for the truth (and maybe even an older, less nettlesome sibling), Annie makes her way through the forbidden channels of family history. When her eldest sister finds herself facing a scandal, Annie alone will be equipped to discern the righteous choice from amongst the many, mostly straight-laced options available.

“Hicks adopts Annie’s precocious voice skillfully and draws from it self-effacing humor, spiritual bargaining, and enough charm to fill the corridors of Vatican City twice over.” This is an involving tale of religious evolution that reminds us that good faith is what sometimes grows out of defying convention and braving the unknown.

The book has since garnered several awards:
iBooks Best New Fiction pick, Spring 2015
Winner 1st place SOMERSET AWARD (Literary Fiction) Chanticleer Awards, May 2016
Winner BEST INSPIRATIONAL FICTION: Next Generation INDIE Award, May 2016
BRONZE Book of the Year (Literary Fiction) INDIEFAB AWARDS, June, 2016
JC Top Must Read Books of 2015, December, 2015

For even more reviews, please check out Caitlin Hicks’ website, linked here:



Our new Member Database, and Profile System

Maybe you’re a member, maybe you’re looking to hire someone, or maybe you’re just curious–this post is all about the new searchable member directory, and member profile system.

If you are looking to find someone with the directory, all you need to do is go to the page, and enter a keyword into the search bar– it could be a name or
the type of workshop or job you’re looking to  hire for. Here, I searched for a ghost writer and found six people who mentioned that they ghost write. If you are looking for a person, enter their name, or hit the button just above the search bar “View Listings: Alphabetically”. This way, you can browse by letter. If you just want to look at some random profiles (perhaps you’re looking for inspiration) then alphabetically is a great way to do so.

Now, if you’re a member, you might be more curious about how you update and manage your profile. Let’s start at the beginning.

If you are a current member, you would have received an email with a unique URL–depending what you use for an email server, you may be able to just click it, or you may have
to copy it (highlight, press Ctrl and C on your keyboard for windows).


If you haven’t seen an email like this, just email me at, and I’ll send you a new one. You’ll notice the link will expire within 72 hours, so it’s best to have a bit of time set aside before you begin. Following that link would have brought you to a page like so:




You will see your email address in the first box, and it will ask you to make a new password. This is the password that you’ll use to access everything on the FBCW site, including events, so make it something you’ll remember. The password needs to be a minimum of 8 characters. Enter the same password in both boxes below your email, and hit “update”

The page won’t change, but where the three boxes were, you’ll now see the message:

“Success! You have set up your access.

Please click here to continue”

Click where it asks, and you will find yourself at a page called “My Profile”–this is where you can start updating what people see in the database.  If you set your password ages ago, you can also find this page by going to; the link is found under “our members” in the main menu.

MyprofileNow, you’ll see that Fake Fakerton here has in their profile an address, phone number, and email–please don’t remove this information. Other people cannot see it. This is the information that the FBCW uses to contact you, and by removing it, you make it impossible for us to send you magazines, newsletters, and special offers. If you do want people to see some of your contact information, it can be added–I’ll show you how soon.

You can now upload an image– click the blue word that says “upload” on the bottom left of the screen. this database can only accept small images (200 KB or smaller) so you may need to resize the photo you like to make it work. If you need help with that, you can google it, or email me.


Now, f you’re ready to dive into the process of updating your profile, click the grey button that reads “View Profile/Edit Profile”on the bottom right– if not, you can close the page (if you’re on your home computer) or hit “Sign Out” at the top right of the page, if you are on a public computer, or letting another member of your family edit their profile.

Assuming you’re ready to go on, the next page you see is the place you edit basic info. This one is much longer than the others and has tons of options for you to pick.  You can change your name, and the prefix for your name here, as well as choose what type of member (writer) you are. The list is quite long, but you can request additions if you’d like. Choose as many of these as you think fit you.  The next heading is “subscriptions”. These are things we send you. If you’d like to receive print issues of WordWorks, make sure that box is checked–this is the same with WriteOn, and partner publications. Other than WriteOn, any changes you make are immediate. For WriteOn, if you no longer want to receive it you’ll need to unsubscribe (email me if you’re unsure how).


The next section is region–select whichever region you feel you belong to. There is a map here if you’re unsure, but you do not have to adhere to the boundaries if you don’t feel they suit you. This selection mostly influences which regional newsletter you’ll be receiving, so which local news you’ll get.

Next, if you’re interested in volunteering, you can select that. This doesn’t obligate you to ever volunteer, but you may receive emails from us about it from time to time asking if you would like to.

Under that you can select any workshops you offer– feel free to email me to request additions.  Afterwards, we have a gender selection– there are several options, but you are not required to answer if you would prefer not to. We only ask for demographic information.

Once you have all of that setup, you can hit the bottom center button, “Save & Next” to get to the contact info page.



Here you can update all of your contact information with the FBCW. Reminder: email address, phone number, and mailing address are NOT visible to the public. Please don’t remove entirely, or you may not receive all of your member features. Now that I’ve said that again, this is where you can update your information if you move, get a new phone, or what have you. This is a pretty straightforward page. When you’re done, save and next in the bottom center.

Here you can see the directories you are a part of. There may be multiple in the future, but for now, we just have a general member directory. Click the word edit (I circled it in red) to start on that. When it loads, scroll down. You see your contact info, but people will not see that. They will see social media links if you add them, website URLs, and your name, but nothing else. If you want to add some of that contact information, you add it below all of that, in the “about me” section. Now is where you need to get creative. This is where you can add your biography, list your publishing credits, mention things you’re working on, and really say whatever you’d like.

About me
Below that you can upload an additional two images if you like. It is possible to paste images into the “about me” area, but it’s not meant for that, so I can’t offer support.

When you’re done, hit any of the save buttons near the bottom. This is very important–don’t just navigate away. I recommend hitting save every 5-10 minutes if you’re writing from scratch. The website may time out if you take too long. It’s actually better to write it in a word processing program, then paste it in, but do whatever you prefer.


And that’s it! I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please send me an email at

Review: CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS by Elma Schemenauer

Review by Joan Soggie, a Saskatchewan-based author and former librarian

Winter storms and Saskatchewan sunsets.  A farming community in the Canadian prairie. Nosy neighbours and judgemental churchgoers. Birth, death, love and betrayal.

Author Elma Schemenauer’s clear prose and colloquial language immediately set the reader at ease. Yet this quiet little book, as unassuming as a housewife’s apron, contains all the elements of human drama. Frank and Tina’s lives are ordinary. But as Mark Twain famously said, “There is no such thing as an ordinary life.” Set against the background of a Mennonite community in the 1940s, the story unfolds through Tina’s and Frank’s alternating viewpoints. Tina – pretty, self-willed, enjoying her newfound freedom as a secretary in Vancouver- vacillates between

Author Elma Schemenauer’s clear prose and colloquial language immediately set the reader at ease. Yet this quiet little book, as unassuming as a housewife’s apron, contains all the elements of human drama. Frank and Tina’s lives are ordinary. But as Mark Twain famously said, “There is no such thing as an ordinary life.” Set against the background of a Mennonite community in the 1940s, the story unfolds through Tina’s and Frank’s alternating viewpoints. Tina – pretty, self-willed, enjoying her newfound freedom as a secretary in Vancouver- vacillates between desire for a stable marriage and love for her half-Gypsy, not quite Mennonite, hometown boyfriend. Frank, sullen, dark-browed and unpredictable, haunted by insecurity, cannot give up his oh-so-proper yet passionate sweetheart. Both have deep ties with their community through family, church, school friends and neighbours. Some of those ties are burdensome, heavy with painful memories. Some are sweet and life giving. Sometimes irksome neighbours turn out to be the best friends. Sometimes good friends cause unexpected heartache.

Author Schemenauer grew up in a community much like her fictional “Dayspring in the Municipality of Coyote, Saskatchewan.” Her intimate and affectionate understanding communicates itself to the reader as the story unfolds. Her characters accurately reflect the time and place. Roland’s “ancestors had the same Dutch-German-Mennonite background” as Tina but was to her “as boring as turnips.” Frank “was hot peppers, red cabbage and wild mushrooms.” Frank’s heart “rears like a startled horse” and Preacher Schellenberg meets his wayward parishioner “near the Boston fern, under the picture of the Last Supper.” The solid ordinariness of everyday life in a mid-20th century prairie town underlies every sentence.

Yet the story, while shaped by the time and place, by major events like the World War and minor events like bad weather, turns on the characters themselves. This is not a simple boy-meets-girl love story. The characters wrestle with their own selfishness, doubts and spiritual hunger. Tina, Frank, Roland, Victor, Dorrie all grow, change and take on a reality of their own. The outcome, like life itself, is ambivalent and not an ordinary fairytale ending.

Elma Schemenauer has shown in Consider the Sunflowers the extraordinary struggles and joys implicit in everyday existence. This is a good read for anyone who enjoys the timeless human drama.

The final pages of the book trace Mennonite history from 1525 to the present and will be of special interest to those with a Mennonite background or anyone interested in church history. The study questions included make this an especially good choice for a book club or literature class.

Author: Elma Schemenauer Title: Consider the Sunflowers Publisher: Borealis Press, October 28, 2014, Paperback 299 pages ISBN 978-0-88887-575-4. Available from Chapters online or Borealis Press  . More information at  . Book trailer .

How can WordWorks and the FBCW blog work (harder) for you?

Hello BC Writers,

Today I wanted to sit down and discuss some changes and upgrades to the FBCW communications program. As the FBCW grows, it becomes harder and harder to give individual attention and support to every one of our members, but we are committed to doing just that. We are (re) introducing two ways for our members to ‘get out there’, and get their publications viewed.


The first is the rebirth of the “Launched” section of WordWorks. If you view old issues of WordWorks, like the one linked, you can see exactly what I’m talking about. This is a section near the back of the magazine that lists new titles that any Federation of BC Writers members has written, along with a cover image, ISBN, and a brief summary. This section is meant to feature new titles, published in the past few months. However, we are just introducing it now, so we’ll be accepting titles that have been released in approximately the past year for this very first issue (Fall 2016). If we receive more than we can fit, more recent titles will be given precedence. If you are a writer of plays with a debut performance, or an article in a newspaper that’s particularly enthralling, or other large achievements that don’t necessarily apply, please email me at, to see how we can fit you in–the FBCW strives to support all writers in BC.

To submit, please email a short description or summary (under 200 words is best) and a cover image, along with fill title, ISBN, Publisher (if applicable), date, and price to . If you would like to include a link to purchase, it must be at the end of the description, and included in the word count.  We look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to!



Now, what about those members who don’t have recent titles published? Well, the FBCW would be happy to post professional reviews of your books or recent writings on this blog, or to consider guest posts from you about issues that are important to both you and writers in BC.  We’re also looking into ways we can get our members reviewed by third parties, so please keep an eye on our blog for more information about this.

We’re always looking for more ways to assist you, so if you have any ideas for us, please feel free to let us know!


-Shaleeta Harper,
Executive Director

Canada: Authors, Libraries, and the Public Lending Right Program

Guest post by Annie Daylon. Please see the original post, and website, (linked) for more information.

Canadian Authors: Did you know that you could be compensated for having books in libraries in Canada? How? Through the Canada Council for the Arts Public Lending Right Program.


According to Wikipedia, a Public Lending Right (PLR) program is a program “intended to either compensate authors for the potential loss of sales from their works being available in public libraries, or as a governmental support of the arts, through support of works available in public libraries, such as books, music, and artwork.” Twenty-eight countries, including Canada, have such programs.

In Canada, when books are purchased by (not donated to) libraries, authors may receive compensation over and above the royalty. The compensation comes in the form of an annual payment from the Public Lending Right Program.

Who is eligible?
Canadian citizens who are illustrators, photographers, translators, anthology contributors or editors with original written contributions are eligible.
What writing is eligible?
Works of poetry, fiction drama, children’s literature, nonfiction or scholarly work are eligible. (more details on eligibility here)
Which Libraries are eligible?
Every year the PLR chooses seven public library catalogues in each language group. According to the PLR website, “The selection of public library catalogues takes into account the desire to include substantial collections and to represent the various regions of Canada.” The list of eligible programs is not broadcast in advance. This is for fairness and to prevent participating libraries from being inundated with purchasing requests from authors.

How Do Authors Participate?
To participate, authors must register. You will not receive compensation unless you are registered with the Public Lending Right Program. Registration is required annually, between mid-February and May first. You can go to the site now and request an email reminder about registration for 2017. (Registration Link)

There is a $50 threshold set for a PLR payment. (For details on the payment scale, go HERE)
For me, this scale means that

If the FVRL (the library system which purchased two copies of one of my titles) is on the list for 2017, and If I register in February of 2017, I get $50 for that year (payment is per title, not per book.)

If I land that same title in another participating library system, I get $100. And so on and so on, to a maximum of $350.

According to Peter Schneider, Manager of the Canada Council for the Arts Public Lending Right Program, the maximum paid to one Canadian author last year was $3500.

I’m in! How about you? Yes?
If you have titles in Canadian libraries, then remember to REGISTER. If you don’t have titles in Canadian libraries, then start by applying to the acquisitions librarian in your own community. (See previous blog post: How I Got My Indie Novel into the Library System.)

For more information go to: Public Lending Right Program

Do you have any comments about or experience with a Public Lending Right Program? Please share your comments, share this post, and share the wealth! All authors need this support.
My best to you,


What Is Access Copyright To You?

Access Copyright is an organization that was set up as a “collective” to distribute funds to writers, termed “creators”, and to publishers. These are known as the affiliates of Access Copyright.

Authors and publishers who have put their skills to creating a book would like that effort to be paid for. Users of books, texts and illustrations in government and educational institutions are supposed to pay a licence or tariff for that use. Affiliates are each allocated a portion of that payment, depending on the amount of content they have generated. For instance, if you are the author of a text being used in UBC courses, you may receive a cheque from Access Copyright annually for something like $300. Or, it could be in the thousands. The distribution of funds has been designed to fairly pay for the works so that it encourages the further Canadian writing – authors have been getting just under one-half (46%) of the payments, publishers have been allocated about 52%, and the remainder has gone primarily to overseas publishers.

When 10% Becomes 100%

The calculation to find how much, as an example, UBC is supposed to pay comes from their full-time-equivalent (FTE) number of students in a year – say 45,000. The university is assessed that number times an agreed amount. Access Copyright has asked for about $7.00 per FTE, which would have been $315,000 (these figures are very rough approximations). If the university objects, as they all have recently, the Copyright Board is tasked to adjudicate the dispute and then issue a tariff notice.

With respect to universities and colleges, a few problems have arisen. One problem is that the Copyright Board made some peculiar decisions (which are being appealed by Access Copyright). The tariff they came up with was in the pennies per FTE, rather than dollars. This has drastically reduced the funds that can be given to authors and publishers. In the UBC example, the amount would come to about $22,000 (if they actually pay), or almost $300,000 less. UBC spent more than $26,000 just on the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

Access Copyright is appealing.

The excuse used by educational institutions when they appear before the Copyright Board tribunal is that the principle of fair dealing allows their instructors and students to make copies of a work, up to 10%. Even though this number is only a guideline and is subject to conditions, they then go on to say that all copying done is under fair dealing, therefore there is nothing to pay. That assertion flies in the face of every analysis done of the situation, including an 18 month study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

But since when have universities insisted on conforming to scientific method?

Legal shenanigans

Another issue has been that every one of the universities and colleges (all of them) have backed out of defending the suit. The result is that, without the other side being in court, the legal team at Access Copyright cannot force the institutions to disclose how many copies are being made, thereby hamstringing the suit. Cute.

That situation carries on.

Also, Access Copyright has filed suit against York University as a test case. When will it be resolved? Considering that it took 11 years for the previous case to be decided, the York University case will take a few more years. Also consider that after the last positive legal decision for Access Copyright, the same litigants again refused to accept the subsequent tariff notice. The educational institutions are taking the stand that a tariff notice is just an optional suggestion. They feel they are saving as much by not paying, as it takes to pay for the legal shenanigans, so they are deliberately wearing down the resources of Access Copyright until, they believe, it will disappear.

So What?

Why should you, as an author, care? If you are already registered as an affiliate, your annual payment for the work you did is in jeopardy. Your work will become free for all. But that is only a small part of the “So What”.

If there is no longer a financial incentive for Canadian authors to write books that are targeted at our K-12, secondary, college and university institutions, or the libraries, and if publishers no longer have books to sell them, there will literally be no more Canadian texts in school. The institutions will then be forced to buy their books from (name a few countries).

Where, then, goes Canadian culture and history? Is it downloaded from Google?

This topic may have many complexities, but that one factor remains. Without Canadian books, we lose our Canadian culture. Full stop.

An Act To Enrich the Legal Profession

At the AGM for Access Copyright held on April 15th, the new, slimmed-down and redesigned Board, along with representatives from across Canada, considered the issues. Excellent assessments were made and a plan of action, which was started last year, was further strengthened. The likely actions of those institutions that are obligated to pay us for our work was considered. It was suggested that funds from a Canadian university association are finding their way to York University to fuel their lawyers. No wonder a legal wag called the last change to the Copyright Act, “An Act To Enrich the Legal Profession”.

Access Copyright has no option but to continue that fight. We have held out our hand to our “clients”, looking for a peaceful solution. The educational institutions have not merely refrained from negotiation, they have pointedly ignored Access Copyright. Nevertheless, we must continue to sue our clients even as we continue to hold out an olive branch.

There is a mandated review of the Copyright Act set for 2017. No matter what happens, the Act will not be changed that year. It will take a while. Consider that Access Copyright, on behalf of authors and publishers, has been forced into the courts since 2004. That is likely to carry on past 2018. It has gone on endlessly! Consider how much that must have cost all sides in legal fees! Is that not a shameful waste of resources and effort that should have gone, instead, to enhancing our culture? One would think we are fighting against Martians – and yet it is the very institutions that tout our Canadian culture, that are working to destroy it.

Up the Pitchforks!

My suggestion was to do a flanking maneuver – we need to ask the politicians why the Copyright Board has made so many legally curious decisions, why their decisions have forced the waste of millions of dollars, and why are the educational institutions and libraries hell bent on stripping themselves of Canadian culture. Our symbol should be, I said, the pitchfork. We need to rouse the populous!

One of the rabble rousers on the Board is from Victoria – Michael Elcock. At a meeting with university administration he innocently asked if he could please have one of the free degrees from the university. If it was alright to freely copy his books, then he wanted a free degree. Blank stares.

At the AGM, Michael asked if we could convince a famous Canadian author to take action by demanding that her/his books be removed from all Canadian libraries. And if one author did not get their attention, how about several? Libraries thus emptied of Canadian books would certainly be a telling statement.

Be aware that the educational institutions will be grinding their propaganda machine into full bore over this year. From their boardrooms they will accuse, and cry poverty, spend more money that does not go toward education, and demand the freedom to copy our works without pay.

Access Copyright will respond, on your behalf.



Copyright Board:

  • See Recent Decisions, Elementary and Secondary School Tariff (2010-2015), and check out “2. In this tariff… but excludes the digital copy”; with that exclusion of digital copying, the tariff is $2.41 (it would have been over $7.00). Excluding digital copying is one of the curious legal decisions. It has no basis in fact, in the Copyright Act, nor in reason.

Access Copyright: – Annual Report, including a summary of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report.

Copyright Act:

Supreme Court of Canada decision re, fair dealing:

UBC Annual Report and financials: