Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 03, 2009 10:00 ET

Implementation of New National Translation Program for Book Publishing

The Government Delivers on Its Commitments to Linguistic Duality and Canadian Culture

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the implementation of the new National Translation Program for Book Publishing, designed to increase the availability of Canadian books in both official languages. Through this program, the Government is delivering on the commitment it made when it announced the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality last June.

"Our Government wants to give as many Canadians as possible access to the enormous wealth of our country's culture and literature," said Minister Moore. "The new program will also help our authors gain recognition in new markets, thereby strengthening the financial health of Canada's book publishing industry."

Starting April 1, 2009, the Government will invest $5 million over four years in this program, which will help publishers in Canada translate Canadian-authored books into English and French. To minimize administrative costs and implementation time, and to take advantage of existing expertise, administration of the program is being entrusted to the Canada Council for the Arts for 2009-2010, and the arrangement can be renewed annually. The Government is pleased to be able to draw on the experience and administrative structure already in place at the Council to provide this new support to publishers.

"Our Government's commitment is unwavering. This strategic investment allows the Government to support our linguistic duality, the reach of our culture, and our economy," concluded Minister Moore.

"This is wonderful news for Canadian readers, publishers, and literary translators," said Robert Sirman, Director of the Canada Council for the Arts. "The Council welcomes the federal government's commitment today, as it shows confidence in the Council and its ability to deliver additional support for translation. The Council is looking forward to receiving the money in the coming months, when it will be in a position to allocate it to grant recipients."

The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality is an unprecedented government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years. Its new arts and culture component includes more than $20 million and is in addition to funding of more than half a billion dollars over the next two years under Budget 2009 to support the arts, culture, and heritage.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.



The Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, released in June 2008, includes $5 million to increase the number of books available in both official languages by helping Canadian publishers translate works of Canadian authors into English and French. For Canadians, this will mean greater access to the cultural wealth and literature of the country's Anglophone and Francophone communities, in both official languages.

The investments announced today add to the $68 million already invested annually by the Government in Canadian writing and book publishing. This is provided through Canadian Heritage's Book Publishing Industry Development Program ($37 million) and the Canada Council for the Arts, including the Public Lending Right Commission (a total of $31.1 million in 2007-2008).

Delivery mechanism

After studying various options, the Government selected the Council to deliver the new program. The intention expressed in the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality to provide "greater access to the cultural wealth and literature of the country" is directly aligned with the mandate of the Council, which is to "to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts." Moreover, the Council already has a Translation Grants Program in place, and building on this existing infrastructure will reduce administrative costs and avoid duplication. This is an opportunity not only to deliver the program efficiently, but also to draw on the Council's expertise and experience in this area. The Council will also be able to provide timely support through grants that offset the high upfront costs associated with translations.

Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council is a federal Crown corporation created by an act of Parliament in 1957. The Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, integrated (multidisciplinary) art, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts, and writing and publishing. It also promotes public awareness of the arts through its communications, research, and arts promotion activities. The Public Lending Right Commission and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO also operate under the aegis of the Canada Council.

Eligibility criteria for the National Translation Program for Book Publishing

Funding will be provided for literary translations produced by Canadian publishers already taking part in the Council's book publishing support programs. Concentrating support in this manner will help to ensure sufficient per-title grants to provide an incentive for the production of new translations.

The federal government will continue to support translations of non-literary titles through Canadian Heritage's Book Publishing Industry Development Program. This program, which provides sales-based formula funding to a broad range of publishers, directs more than $2 million annually to publishers for their translation work. A majority of this amount goes to educational and general trade publishers.

For more information on the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, visit

For more information on the Canada Council for the Arts and its writing and publishing assistance programs, visit

For more information on Canada's publishing policies, visit

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken
    Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations