On behalf of our Board of Directors, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some important information about your Magazine Association of British Columbia, and to invite you to participate in the future of our organization.
None of you will be surprised to hear that times are financially tight. MagsBC, along with many of our member magazines, has always had to make do with a little less than we’d like. But recent years have been especially challenging: we’ve seen a decrease in federal and provincial funding, along with a distinct shift from operational funding to a project-based model. All indicators suggest that this trend will continue, and so our focus, as always, has been on creating projects and initiatives that will best serve our diverse membership.
But even the best project funding fails to address the day-to-day costs of running a sustainable association. We have always relied on membership dues to offset some of our costs, but in spite of that, we find ourselves facing some difficult choices. How can we continue to give you the maximum value of your membership and still reduce our overall operating expenses?
We knew we needed to streamline costs and address our management process in the short-term, while working towards a more sustainable model for the future. To that end, we’ve chosen to discontinue the Executive Director position as of March 28th, 2013.
We’d like to thank Sylvia Skene for her tireless work as ED and her commitment to our organization. Effective immediately, administrative duties and project management will be assumed by members of the Board and other volunteers. We are also exploring options for sub-leasing all or a portion of our current office space, but for the time being, we will occupy the same physical location.
In the longer-term, we are in discussion with our funders, supporters, and partner associations about these recent changes and the most effective ways to deliver member benefits. Rest assured that we will be communicating with all of you as we go forward and continue to provide the services that are important to you, our members.
Your involvement and assistance with this transition will make the difference to our success. If you have unpaid membership dues from 2012, we ask at this time that you bring your account current. If you are able to donate your time or energy to some of our 2013 projects, we’d love to hear from you.
Throughout the coming year, MagsBC will continue to offer the same great services that our membership has come to rely on, including our Canada Periodical Fund-supported internship program for eligible magazines, our Magazine of Magazines, and new web-based professional development seminars to reach members all around the province.
We’re also encouraged by our involvement in Creative BC, an independent non-profit society that will engage government and industry to develop a five-year strategic plan for the creative industries and conduct a review of government support programs for the sector.
Three million dollars in government funding has already been earmarked for Creative BC, and MagsBC will be working with its creative partners—MusicBC, the Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC), and the Canadian Media Production Association, BC Producers Branch—to drive that funding to the requested $15 million over the next five years.
A fully funded provincial creative industries strategy—no matter what government is in place—will go a long way to ensuring a vibrant and long-lasting creative community, of which Mags BC will be an integral part.
Thank you for your continued support of MagsBC. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Board of Directors
Magazine Association of British Columbia