A government subsidy for P.E.I. publishers is back despite an announcement from the minister of culture in December that it was gone for good.

The new program, 50 per cent richer than the old program, is administered by the Department of Innovation rather than the Department of Culture. It will be worth $15,000 a year for eligible publishers.

Larry Resnitzsky

Larry Resnitzsky of Retromedia Publishing (CBC)

That's good news for Retromedia Publishing, whose books aren't always big sellers.

"If you check our books, you'll know that we preserve Island history - at great cost, sometimes, to ourselves," said publisher Larry Resnitzsky.

"Sometimes they make money and sometimes they lose money."

Resnitzsky said the subsidy could mean a couple of extra books a year from Retromedia.

The Island's largest publisher, Acorn Press, is also pleased to see the subsidy restored.

"I'm very pleased because without the support I was really considering moving Acorn off of Prince Edward Island," said company owner Terrilee Bulger.

Writer Richard Lemm is part of a group that fought to have the subsidy restored. Lemm said even when they were told it was gone forever, they kept going.

"Farmers don't give up hope if they're told no, and people who need road work done don't give up. Environmentalists don't give up," he said.

"You just keep saying 'Well, I think this is really important and essential.'"

Every province in Canada offers a subsidy to book publishers.

There are three established publishing companies on P.E.I. The province says it has already received interest in the subsidy.

Eligible publishers

To be eligible for the new subsidy, publishers must have

  • the majority of their owners and administrators as residents of Prince Edward Island.
  • a regular program of publishing has included at least three Prince Edward Island titles during the last fiscal year.
  • book publishing as their main activity.
  • staff with the required education and experience, competent in writing and editing.
  • clearly identified their clientele and established appropriate methods of book distribution.

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