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Covid-19 impact on bookstores major worry for Canadian publishers

Independent publishers are worried about the future of the Indigo bookstore chain, according to a discussion paper released by the More Canada project June 17.

Indigo lost money in 2019 and is expected to record significant losses for a second time in the year ending 31 March 2020. The impact of Covid-19 and store shutdowns across the country add to the chain’s challenges.

The discussion paper notes that Indigo could obtain financial support from Ottawa under its emergency LEEFF program for large businesses. It recommends that any support come with cultural conditions. A key condition would be a commitment by Indigo to devote 20% of book shelf space in stores to Canadian-authored books. This would be in line with federal cultural policy which aims to allow Canadians to discover and read a wide range of books by Canadian authors.

For the full report, click here.

For the press release, click here.


The More Canada report (December 2018) highlighted an issue that had escaped public notice: the slow, steady decline over 10-12 years, in Canadians reading Canadian books.

Public discussion of this issue is now underway. New data has come to light and new studies have been released. Debate is on about how to encourage discovery, awareness and reading of Canadian books by Canadians.

There’s a rich and diverse range of Canadian books being written and published across the country every year.

On this site you can find a constantly-updated collection of reports, research documents, media comments and policy proposals addressing this issue.

Read the Report HERE

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