Two Toronto publishing houses are working together in a unique way to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership.

Independent publishing house ECW Press, a publisher of adult books, and Annick Press, a publisher of children's and YA titles, have announced a new partnership that will see them begin closely collaborating on January 1, 2021. Over a period of five years, majority ownership of Annick Press will gradually move from Annick publisher Rick Wilks to ECW co-publisher David Caron. The companies will continue to operate as separate and distinct entities, and both Wilks and Caron expressed interest in the companies sharing best practices and exploring ways to innovate.

In an FAQ statement, the companies said acquisitions, editorial, design, marketing, branding, finances, and distribution will all remain separate. In areas where they may cooperate, the companies cited as examples the work that ECW does on audiobooks and corporate publishing could help Annick, while the work that Annick does on institutional marketing could help ECW.

“My goal is to preserve our legacy of publishing compelling, poignant, and deeply satisfying books for children and youth," said Wilks in his statement. "ECW is the ideal partner to ensure that Annick, with its talented staff, can look forward to many more years of publishing excellence. I believe that this move will anchor our companies at the forefront of innovation and creativity within Canadian publishing. My plan is to remain at Annick, albeit in a somewhat reduced capacity, through the transition years.”

Caron noted that Annick's children's books "have made a lasting impact on me, my two kids, and many others." Pointing to newer titles such as Michael McCreary’s Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic, Caron said he relishes "taking on the responsibility to build on that foundation, guide the evolution of Annick, and help its staff, authors, and illustrators to have the same effect on new readers. I am committed to keeping Annick Press fiercely independent and to being deeply involved in steering the continuity of Annick into the next generation.”