Douglas & McIntyre, the original imprint of British Columbia’s long-time flagship book publisher, will live to see another day, thanks to a new alliance with Madeira Park’s Harbour Publishing.
In a Feb. 6 announcement, Harbour owners Howard and Mary White reached an agreement to purchase assets associated with the famous imprint from its former owner, D&M Publishers Inc.
D&M Publishers Inc. published under two imprints, Douglas & McIntyre and Greystone Books.
During reorganization, the imprints have been separated and sold as individual entities. The Douglas & McIntyre imprint dates back to 1971 when the original publishing company was co-founded by Jim Douglas and Scott McIntyre. The Douglas & McIntyre list is made up of some 500 titles including the Giller-Prize-winning novel The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skribsrud; the CBC Canada Reads contender Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese; British Columbia: A New Historical Atlas by Derek Hayes and works by such eminent Canadian authors as Emily Carr, Bill Reid, Wayson Choy, Doris Shadbolt, Wade Davis, Bill Richardson, Douglas Coupland, Will Ferguson and others.
Harbour Publishing was started by the Whites in 1974, and is known for its focus on regional titles about B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. The Whites plan to operate Douglas & McIntyre as a separate company with its own editorial direction, maintaining the press’s focus on First Nations, art, fiction and books directed at the national and international market. All Douglas & McIntyre titles will continue to be distributed by Harper Collins in Canada with no interruption of service.
White had been “concerned, like everyone else,” when D&M filed for creditor protection last year.
“I have been admiring Douglas & McIntyre since we started publishing books together 40 years ago,” White said in a news release. “I just felt if there was a role for Harbour to play in keeping that great program going, we had to do it.”
Harbour has successfully partnered with other presses in the past, including Nightwood Editions, Caitlin Press, Bluefield Books and Lost Moose Books. None of these was the size of D&M, and White doesn’t underestimate the scale of the new undertaking.
“We plan to take it one step at a time,” he said, adding that he will be contacting D&M authors over the next few days and urging them “to work with us to make sure this great Canadian publishing tradition carries on for years to come.”