Jack MCCLELLAND, the founder's son, became executive vice-president in 1952 and president in 1961, and continued to develop a vigorous Canadian BOOK PUBLISHING program that made a most notable contribution to the publishing and marketing of Canadian literature. The company published the foremost Canadian writers of the day, including Margaret LAURENCE, W.O. MITCHELL, Margaret ATWOOD, Earle BIRNEY, Al PURDY, Leonard COHEN, Mordecai RICHLER, Irving LAYTON, and many others. Through non-fiction authors such as Pierre BERTON, Farley MOWAT, Peter GZOWSKI and Peter NEWMAN, McClelland & Stewart succeeded in publishing many Canadian best-sellers. Through the New Canadian Library Series (est 1958) and Carleton Library Series (est 1963) the company reprinted classic works in Canadian literature, history and social sciences, and greatly aided the growth of Canadian studies. The company published the first 2 volumes in its Canadian Centenary Series - an 18-volume history of Canada - in 1963.
Widespread publicity and concern was aroused by the announcement in 1971 that M&S was for sale. The Ontario government decided to provide a $1-million loan to prevent its sale to American interests. In 1984 the government again stepped in, freeing M&S from its debt obligation (some $4 million). This action depended on McClelland being able to raise over $1 million from the private sector; his success at this endeavour was an acknowledgement of McLelland & Stewart's contribution to Canadian culture. However, M&S was sold in 1985 to Avie BENNETT and McClelland resigned his position as publisher with the firm in 1987. Since then Bennett has continued as chairman and Douglas Gibson as publisher.
The company has continued to publish about 100 new titles each year and to add to its distinguished list of Canadian writers, including Yves BEAUCHEMIN, Lorna CROZIER, Robertson DAVIES, Mavis GALLANT, Jack HODGINS, Rohinton MISTRY, Alice MUNRO, Michael ONDAATJE, Nino RICCI, Jane URQUHART, David Adams Richards and Guy VANDERHAEGHE, among others. M&S revived the New Canadian Library Series under David STAINES. In 1991 McLelland & Stewart purchased Hurtig Publishers of Edmonton, publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia. The company then bought the children's book publisher, Tundra, in 1995. An alliance was formed in January 2000 when the non-fiction publisher Macfarlane Walter & Ross became part of the McClelland & Stewart team. This alliance continued until 2003, when market conditions forced Macfarlane Walter & Ross to close down.
In June 2000, McClelland & Stewart was donated to the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. Under the terms of the gift, the university owned 75 per cent of the company and appointed five of the directors on the seven person board. The remaining 25 percent ownership was sold to Random House of Canada. In 2012, the University of Toronto sold their majority ownership to Random House. The company's centennial was acknowledged by Canada Post in April 26, 2006 with a commemorative stamp.
Author JESSICA POTTER
Links to Other Sites
McClelland & Stewart
The website for the legendary Canadian publisher McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada Limited.
Michael Ennis: A Canadian success story
An article about American writer Michael Ennis's experience with the Canadian publishing industry. From the National Post.
The Censorship of Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners, 1976-1985
A feature on the controversy surrounding the release of Margaret Laurence's 1974 novel "The Diviners." Includes copies of letters from her publisher and related archival material. From the "Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing" website, McMaster University Library.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...