Structure of the association

Editors Canada is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization and is governed at the national level by an executive council. The council provides leadership for the association, focusing on strategic planning and policy. The council takes its direction from the priorities of the association’s membership as expressed in AGM motions, member meetings and various forms of member feedback. All directors on the national executive council are members of Editors Canada and are elected to their positions. They serve on a voluntary basis.

Much of the work of the association is accomplished by committees of volunteers. The Editors Canada certification program and the annual conference, for example, are both overseen by national committees. Committee chairs are appointed by the national executive council. Committee members are not formally elected or appointed and generally bring subject-area expertise and enthusiasm to the group.

The national office in Toronto has a paid staff. The office processes membership applications and renewals, responds to enquiries from members and the public, administers national services and provides support to national committees and the national executive council including for the national conference, certification, finances and marketing.

Editors Canada has regional branches and twigs across the country, providing a range of local programming and services to both members and non-members. Key activities in most local groups include organizing membership meetings, offering training seminars and producing a local newsletter. Each branch is run by its own branch executive, whose members serve on a voluntary basis and are elected to their positions by the broader membership of the branch. Each twig is run by co-coordinators, local members elected to the roles by their twig members each year.

Most branches are supported by administrators who handle bookkeeping, banking, local member management and event coordination. Twig administration is similarly handled from the national office.

Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada

In the late 1970s several young Toronto editors began talking about their shared problems and goals, and by May 1979 the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada (FEAC) had been officially launched. There were approximately 50 people involved, with Maggie MacDonald serving as the association’s first president. Within the first year, the association had a logo, a constitution, and a directory.

By 1981 Ottawa was hosting a group; three years later Montreal formed a committee; and in 1985 British Columbia did the same. However, until 1990, FEAC operated as a Toronto-based organization. During 1990 and 1991, a new national structure with four separate regional branches was established. The branches were Quebec-Atlantic Canada, National Capital Region, Toronto and Western Canada (which was essentially BC).

Association canadienne des pigistes de l’édition

In 1982, FEAC adopted a French name, Association canadienne des pigistes de l’édition, and thus committed to being a bilingual association.

Editors’ Association of Canada/Association canadienne des réviseurs

During the first 15 years of its existence, FEAC primarily addressed issues that were uniquely of concern to freelance editors. However, over the years that emphasis had gradually changed. So in 1994 the association’s name was changed to the Editors’ Association of Canada/Association canadienne des réviseurs, and in-house editors were invited to join.

In 1996, the Editors’ Association of Alberta came under the umbrella of EAC, becoming the Prairie Provinces branch. And in 2005, a group of editors in Saskatchewan formed a sixth branch, Saskatoon (renamed the Saskatchewan branch in 2011).

In 2011, EAC announced a new twig structure to help editors in smaller centres connect with each other. The first official twig was launched in 2011 in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph (KWG) region in Ontario. Within three years, EAC had six twigs.

Editors/Réviseurs Canada

In 2015, the association began using a new logo and the Editors Canada name (Réviseurs Canada in French), although its legal name remains Editors’ Association of Canada/Association canadienne des réviseurs. The shorter name was introduced to emphasize Editors Canada’s position as the only national association committed to developing and promoting professional editorial standards, increasing awareness of the value of editing, and providing products and services to editors throughout their careers

Rime of the Ancient Editor

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Editors Canada. Check out this interactive timeline to browse through significant events in the organization’s history.

To celebrate the Editors Canada 40th anniversary, Gael Spivak asked Marie-Lynn Hammond if she would write a special song. Marie-Lynn agreed and asked James Harbeck to help her with this task.

Together they wrote the words, and Marie-Lynn wrote the music, for “Rime of the Ancient Editor.”


(Music: M-L. Hammond; lyrics, M-L. Hammond & James Harbeck )  

I am an ancient editor (well, OK, not that old);
I do to words what’s right and true and also what I’m told.
I mostly work alone and yet I’m not alone at all,
for editing lures many with its nerdy siren call!

Hey ho! Haul up the manuscript and brave the waves of prose,
and on the storm of muddy words some order we’ll impose.
Hey ho! Fix up the manuscript by sunlight and by moon!
We’ll steer a course to clarity for deadline’s coming soon!

I sail through books and articles, and sometimes even verse;
I try to make them better or at least not make them worse.
I move, delete, and query, tracking changes all the while,
And though hands and eyes may weary, still I do it all with style.

I toil in anonymity, I serve the author’s voice;
It’s grammar over glamour—but when freelance, I rejoice!
For I can work from coffee shops, or home if I decide,
In my housecoat and pyjamas with my cats all by my side.

And when the writing’s so banal I fear I’ll fall asleep,
[I must] beware the dangling modifiers lurking in the deep!  
And if the structure’s full of holes and threatening to sink,
I pray I’ll be forgiven should I end up in the drink!

Our crew’s been here for forty years, and we’re still going strong;
They said that we’d be obsolete, but oh! we proved them wrong.
As long as words are in the world, they’ll need a steady hand,
And that’s why we are editors, and oh! my friends, it’s grand!

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