Federal grants worth $190,000 for two Quebec magazines featuring scantily-clad models are under fire in the wake of broad arts cuts announced in the last Conservative budget.
Radio-Canada is reporting that Canadian Heritage approved the financing for Summum and Summum Girls, as part of the federal periodical fund earmarked for Canadian publications.
Summum features a selection of current affairs articles, but the Genex publication is best known for glossy pin-up photos of young Quebec women in various states of undress.
Summum Girl features pictures of young, muscular shirtless men.
Summum received $114, 478 this year, while Summum Girl was granted $77,241.
Quebec producer and director Yanick Létourneau said he's outraged the Genex magazines benefit from public subsidies.
"When we see private companies like Genex get financial support and it's for magazines like Summum and Summum Girl, we have to ask ourselves serious questions about what is going on in Canada in terms of cultural financing."
Summum's editor-in-chief Alain Rochette defended the grants and said the magazines are "easy targets" because they cater to a niche market in Quebec.
"We're doing something that not that many are doing here, and that's producing content that's glamour and sexy."
Rochette points out that other Canadian magazines such as Reader's Digest and TVA Publications enjoy larger grants than his publications.