News / Edmonton

Local Edmonton book publishers ask province for financial support

Matt Bowes, general manager of NeWest Press, said Alberta Culture and Tourism invests in the film and music industries, which have in turn seen growth.

Matt Bowes is the general manager of NeWest Press in Edmonton.

Kevin Tuong/For Metro

Matt Bowes is the general manager of NeWest Press in Edmonton.

The Book Publishers Association of Alberta is asking for a financial boost from the province, arguing that supporting local publishers makes economic sense.

The group, which includes Edmonton-based Stonehouse Publishing and NeWest Press, submitted a proposal asking for $15 million in the upcoming provincial budget.

Edmonton author Todd Babiak said many large Canadian publishers don’t know the city, and represent large global interests.

“It is hard for them to be nimble,” he said. “Local publishers think for the community, they produce for the community.”

Matt Bowes, general manager at NeWest Press, said the province should support an industry that provides a unique service "about Edmonton, about the west."

“Investing in book publishing is investing culturally in a way,” he said.

The association already gets grants from the province, Bowes said, but they’d like to see a more sustainable source of government funding.

Bowes said Alberta Culture and Tourism invests in the film and music industries, which have in turn seen growth.

A similar investment in local book publishers would attract and retain talent in the province.

He added local publishers make sure local stories are told, as they’re more keen to work with authors who might be otherwise seen by Toronto-based companies as too local.

“We would have more Alberta voices that may otherwise possibly go unheard,” he said.

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