Founded in 2020, the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association (CIBA) offers programs and services to Canadian independent booksellers and advocates to support the strengthening of the independent bookselling sector.
Indie bookstores are an invaluable part of Canadian culture. In cities and towns across Canada, these stores are intrinsic to the fabric of their communities, convenors of important conversations, and contributors to vibrant local economies.
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Independent bookselling is experiencing a resurgence. Following some turbulence due to the advent of Amazon and e-books, new stores are opening, and customers are looking to their local booksellers for expertise, ideas, and community. Today, there are approximately 250 independent bookstores in Canada.
As local and digital economies shift and a higher number of independent bookstores enter the marketplace, booksellers identified a need for a national association that could offer shared member services, provide business resources and professional, development, advocate for shared policy priorities, and serve as the collective voice of indie booksellers in Canada, and increase collaboration with other associations, publishers, and authors.
In 2018, an exploratory committee was struck to explore the viability of a new association. CIBA began operations in fall 2020 and will build on the work done by the Canadian Booksellers’ Association (disbanded in 2009) and the Retail Council of Canada to offer targeted and responsive support to independent booksellers from coast to coast to coast.
As Canadians, we are deeply indebted to past and present Indigenous peoples. We encourage our members to acknowledge the traditional territory upon which they reside, to educate themselves on the history and treatment of Indigenous peoples in this country, and to reflect on their relationship with Indigenous communities today. Our active work toward reconciliation includes celebrating the depth and breadth of the work of Indigenous writers. It is our honour and responsibility to support Indigenous literature in this country, and we aim to do so through learning opportunities, partnerships, and community building.