Poll is Now Open! Vote for CFG Director: Membership

CFG Election: Director: Membership Management and Development

The election is open for voting and we need your participation! Poll will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, March 14th. To read more about the candidates and view their introductory videos, click here.  Members in good standing can click here to vote.

Please take part in electing our second director at large, responsible for membership management and development.


Posted on March 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Do you have written or visual work in a published book? Register for the Public Lending Right Program

Canadian authors, illustrators and photographers with one or more published books, can now register for the Public Lending Right Program. The program is a Canada Council for the Arts initiative that sends payments every year to creators whose books are in Canadian public libraries.

This year’s registration period runs until May 1, 2021. To register, you’ll need to fill out and mail in a signed registration form along with photocopies of the title page, copyright page and table of contents of the book or books you’ve contributed to.

If you’ve already registered but you have new books to add to your file, fill out the blue file update form you’ll receive in the mail over the next few weeks. If you don’t receive a form by the end of March, you can contact program administrators at plr@canadacouncil.ca.

Eligibility for the program doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a payment — the minimum payment the program will send out is $50. The maximum payment issued in 2020-21, was $4,500.

For details on eligibility criteria or the application process, see the Public Lending Right Program’s website.

Posted on March 9, 2021 at 7:17 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: 

Replacing objectivity with fairness and accuracy in the newsroom

by Stephen Wentzell

Over the last few years, polarization around journalism has contributed to an environment of distrust around the industry, particularly its writers. Journalists are finding themselves under a microscope never-before imagined in an industry that has traditionally called for round-the-clock neutrality.

“Is objectivity an outdated concept?” asks Manisha Krishnan, senior editor at VICE News.

Krishnan facilitated a workshop centred around this question last month at the 83rd annual NASH student journalism conference. The event, aptly named Disrupt, took place in a virtual setting this year in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Krishnan covered subjects including toxic workplaces in Canadian media and sexual violence against women. She said she believes accuracy and fairness can transcend objectivity.

“Just because someone has an opinion, doesn’t mean they’re not capable of covering something in an objective way,” she told her audience.

What is journalistic objectivity?

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on March 4, 2021 at 6:08 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

Board of Directors Election Update and Candidate Profiles

When nominations closed on the February 25th for the very first Canadian Freelance Guild Board of Directors, every position but one had been filled by acclamation. During our Media Mixer on the 26th, we had the successful candidates introduce themselves, as well as the two candidates for the remaining position, the Director for Membership Management and Development. You can watch the introductions and conversation here, but below are the names and positions of 5/6ths of your new Board of Directors.

The First CFG Board of Directors will be:

George Butters – President, Halifax
Montaha Hidefi – Vice-President, Guelph
Helen Edwards – Secretary, Victoria
Paul Verhaegh – Treasurer, Calgary
Tina Pittaway – Director at Large, Dartmouth

There will be only one election, March 12-14, for the position of Director – Membership. There are two candidates, Lisa Caroglanian Dorazio from BC and Grant Frost from Nova Scotia. Voting will take place on line. Details to follow. Here are Lisa and Grant’s biographies and statements, with video statements to follow soon:
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on March 3, 2021 at 8:14 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Myriad Ways to the Book Publishing Market – Part One

by Steven Threndyle

Most magazine writers and newspaper journalists think about writing a book at some point in their careers. Maybe it’s a deeper dive into a story that was part of a feature package, or a biography of an important event or persona in Canadian life.

Recent non-fiction books by Bruce Kirkby, Justin Ling and Bob Joseph took very different paths to get into print and show how fractured and complex the book publishing landscape is right now.

None of them followed the traditional agent/proposal/advance sale that has been the norm until recently.

Persistence… and an agent’s assistance

Although he graduated from Queens University in engineering physics, Bruce Kirkby has fashioned a professional career as an adventure travel writer based on impressive exploits like crossing Oman’s Empty Quarter by camel and making the first rafting descent of the Blue Nile Gorge as part of a National Geographic team.

He’s a bit of a media polymath; in addition to book and magazine writing, Kirkby hosted No Opportunity Wasted, a reality TV show that aired on CBC and he does corporate speaking engagements throughout North America.

His newest book, Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya, (Douglas & McIntyre, 2020) proved to be his most challenging creative endeavour yet.

As an antidote to the endless restlessness of “always-on” modern Canadian life, Kirkby, his wife Christine and their two kids Bodi and Taj journeyed (by canoe, ocean freighter, rail and on foot, but not jet!) to a remote village in the northern Indian state of Zanskar, living as guests in a Buddhist monastery for three months.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 25, 2021 at 9:02 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

CBC Freelancers: Sign a union membership card before March 12 and be entered to win a prize

The Canadian Freelance Guild is proud to partner with the Canadian Media Guild Freelance Branch, our colleagues in providing services to freelance communicators in Canada. CMG Freelance represents all freelancers who provide services to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

If you have freelanced for CBC in the last 12 months, you are eligible to become a member in good standing of the CMG Freelance Branch. All CBC/Radio-Canada freelancers are automatically covered by the collective agreement between CBC/Radio-Canada and CMG (You’ll notice that union dues are already subtracted off your invoice). Among other protections, our collective agreement outlines minimum pay rates for freelancers. Freelance Branch members are eligible to receive support negotiating contracts, run for elected office, vote in elections, access training opportunities, and more. Contact your Freelance Branch representatives to learn more.

To sign your CMG membership card, please fill in this form and you will receive your card in the mail.
Note: When you get to the drop-down menu for employer, select Freelance–CBC/Radio Canada. You do not need to fill out the Employee Number or Department Fields.

CBC Freelancers who sign up for a membership card between February 23 and March 12, 2021 will be entered to win one of the following prizes:
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 24, 2021 at 7:35 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Tax Tips webinar now available on CFG website

On February 10th, about 5 dozen people took part in the CFG’s Business of Freelancing Tax Tips for Freelancers webinar.

This was a very lively discussion about the important questions facing freelancers at tax time — such as eligible expenses, dealing with foreign income, the G/HST, CERB, CRB, and so on.

The webinar is an excellent source of tax advice and it’s now available for streaming on the CFG website.

Members can view the recording for free, it’s now at the top of the list on our members-only Webinars page. The webinar is just $15 for non-members — go to this link and use the discount code TAXINGFL.

And you can find more information about the cost and benefits of membership in the CFG right here.

Posted on February 21, 2021 at 8:06 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Call for Nominations in the 2021 Canadian Freelance Guild Board of Directors Election

Nominations are now open for all positions on the Canadian Freelance Guild (CFG) Board of Directors.

We will be electing for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Directors, one of whom will have responsibilities in Membership Management and Development. Terms will be staggered so that no board will be constituted of entirely new directors.

For this first election the President and Treasurer positions will each be 3-year terms. The Vice-President, Secretary, and the two Directors will be 2-year terms. All terms following the first terms will be three years.

Candidates must be nominated and seconded by CFG members in good standing. Members can find the nomination form in the Digital Deli section of the CFG website. Authorized nominees will have a chance to place a 500-word biography, photo and statement on the CFG website.

Nominations will close at 6pm Eastern Time, Thursday, February 25th, 2021. Candidates will have a chance to ‘meet and greet’ with members during the CFG Monthly Mixer at 4pm ET on Friday, February 26th.

Electronic Voting will take place on March 12th, 13th, and 14th, 2021. Details to follow. Results will be announced via an all-members email on Monday, March 15th.

If you’re a member, you can find the CFG’s election policy in the Digital Deli section of the CFG website. Questions about the election can be sent to CFG Organizer Don Genova in order to be forwarded to the Election Team for consideration.


Your Election Team

Karen Tankard, Helen Edwards, and Elle Andra-Warner

Posted on February 16, 2021 at 8:42 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Highlights of the First Annual General Meeting of the CFG

On Saturday, February 6th the Canadian Freelance Guild held its first-ever Annual General Meeting. The online event took just under three hours and accomplished several important goals.

Bylaws: The first-ever set of Bylaws establishing the CFG were passed, after some considerable discussion and constructive ‘friendly amendment’ editing.

The new bylaws include details about the CFG’s Board of Directors, which will consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Directors who will have varying responsibilities. There will also be a Past President after the first term has been served. Terms will be staggered so that no board will be constituted with entirely new directors.

The CFG will also welcome the formation of ‘Communities’. Each Community will have at least 10 members from a common geographical area, or such an interest as ‘Food and Travel Writing’, ‘Photography’, ‘Non-fiction Authors’, and so on. Communities will have the ability to apply for funding from the CFG board but are also able to raise funds for their own use.

The CFG will also set up ‘Teams’ to accomplish a variety of goals. There will soon be a call for volunteers for the Teams which will likely include Advocacy, Equity, Communications, and Membership Growth.

Election Policy: The CFG now has an approved Election Policy and an Election Team. The Team will be in touch with all members soon with a call for Nominations for the board positions and election dates.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 9, 2021 at 7:15 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

The Born Freelancer on “personal protection” for freelancers

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


Since the pandemic, never have the words “personal protective equipment” appeared together so ubiquitously.

And it got me to thinking:  what about the average freelancer’s personal protection?

We here in Canada tend to think of violence against media as associated with demonstrations elsewhere, but recent developments have proven otherwise.

In Vancouver, a working photographer was punched in the face last month by one of a handful of hostile protesters staging a “political rally” in support of extremist views. It was a timely reminder that personal safety must never be taken for granted and all of us in media today must remain vigilant in safeguarding our well-being and security of all kinds.

So, to begin a new year on a “safety-first” footing, let’s review some basic safety protocols for the average freelancer. These are just general guidelines. Not every suggestion will be appropriate. Your specific circumstances will require making a thorough risk assessment.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 3, 2021 at 7:15 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , , ,