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Canadian magazine Industry

Information and data

Industry associations

Magazines Canada represents more than 350 Canadian consumer and trade magazines, including most of the largest and many of the smaller and specialized. The majority of the consumer magazines are distributed by paid circulation, by subscription or on the newsstand or both. Magazines Canada hosts an annual conference in June called MagNet, which offers seminars and awards programs. MC also operates a newstand circulation business, offers a range of professional development opportunities and acts as the principal lobbying group for the Canadian magazine industry.

The Canadian Business Press at one time represented about 119 trade publications published by 46 companies, and ran an industry conference called Mags University in collaboration with Masthead magazine. However CBP now restricts itself to endowing and managing the Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for trade publishing.

The Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) represents circulators and runs the ACE awards.

The Magazine Association of BC (MagsBC) represents nearly 200 consumer and trade magazines published in the province of British Columbia. It hosts various professional development opportunities and is affiliated with Magazines Canada.

The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) represents magazines published in Alberta. It is affiliated with Magazines Canada.

The Atlantic Magazines Association (AMA) is based in Halifax and represents magazines published in the Atlantic provinces.

Association québécoise des éditeurs de magazines (AQEM) represents the magazine industry in Quebec.

The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME) holds regular luncheons, mixers and sponsors the Editor's Choice awards that are given out at its annual gala dinner.

National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) exists to run the annual awards program and gala dinner and presentation that happens each year at the end of Magazines Week in June

The City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA) represents mostly U.S. titles and mostly eponymous city magazines. There are some Canadian members, such as Vancouver magazine.

The International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) is largelyl U.S. magazines representing the tourism and promotion aspects of states and cities, although it also has Canadian members such as British Columbia, Prairies North and Cottage Life. It operates an annual awards program for its members.

The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) represents freelance writers for many different media, but a good many magazine writers. It lobbies on their behalf about rates and fees and working conditions.

Data sources

Statistics Canada has produced a census of the Canadian periodical industry for the better part of two decades. The most recent such study published was in 2004. More recent, but much less illuminating, information is also available.

Masthead magazine (North Island Publishing) is the trade publication for the Canadian magazine industry. It is no longer a print publication, but continues to offer a job board, regular news stories, special reports and a library of useful magazine-related data and information.

The Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) is a tri-partite industry association (magazines/advertising agencies/major advertisters) that conducts a rolling annual omnibus survey of readership and product use. It is the gold standard for readership information in the country, and represents most of the larger national consumer magazines. While you have to be a member of PMB (membership fees are based on revenues and range from $5,000 to $65,000; the average is about $20,000), it provides free topline readershipinformation in spring and fall of each year..

The Cornerstone Group of Companies is a data manager and list broker that publishes data cards for the various titles it represents. These give information on the composition, demographics and price for renting access to these lists. Caution: These are only companies, magazines and lists represented by Cornerstone; there are many other list brokers.Go here to view datacards

The Canada Council for the Arts supports literary and cultural magazines with annual operating grants. A list of its grants to literary and arts periodicals is available on its website.

Advertising Age, a U.S. magazine about the advertising, publishing and multimedia industry, maintains a data centre where there is some of useful information and fact packs about leading U.S.-based magazines and publishing companies. Some of the information is free; some you can pay for on an as-used basis. (It is all free to subscribers, of course.)

BPA Worldwide is one of two circulation auditing companies operating in Canada (the other is the Audit Bureau of Circulations -- ABC); BPA puts its circulation audits online, so you can do a free search for titles you are interested in (you have to complete a free registration process) and view or print out 'pink sheets' for those titles.

ABC Canada is the other circulation auditing company and offers some free access, particularly to topline data and compilations of information about categories, although not access to individual titles.

The Canadian Media Directors' Council publishes an annual Media Digest which provides some useful print- and web-related data concerning magazines, along with information about all other media.


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