Summary of the Evaluation of the Capital Experience Program 2013-14 to 2017-18
Evaluation Services Directorate
January 6, 2022
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- List of acronyms and abbreviations
- List of tables
Summary of the Evaluation of the Capital Experience Program 2013-14 to 2017-18 [PDF version - 2.3 MB]
List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Canadian Heritage
- Capital Experience
- Canada’s Capital Region
List of tables
The objective of the Capital Experience (CE) Program is to foster feelings of pride and belonging among Canadians towards their Capital, while increasing their overall awareness of Canada’s Capital Region (CCR) as a destination where people can experience Canada’s heritage, culture, and achievements.
The CE program supports:
- Events and activities such as Winterlude, Canada Day celebrations, and Christmas Lights Across Canada.
- Large-scale interpretation projects such as the Sound and Light show on Parliament Hill.
- Permanent exhibitions and smaller scale interpretation projects such as the Confederation Boulevard Banner program, Chateau Laurier Terrace exhibition.
- Monuments such as the National Holocaust Monument and War of 1812 Monument.
- Public art installations.
- Visitor services, public tours and school programs at the Capital Information Kiosk on Parliament Hill and locations of national significance.
In September 2013, the CE Program was transferred from the National Capital Commission (NCC) to Canadian Heritage (PCH). Guided by the Burke-Litwin Organizational Performance and Change Model, the evaluation focused on the CE Program mandate and operational challenges following the transfer.
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Table 1 notes
- Table 1 note *
Resources data for 2013-14 are only available for half of the year due to the program transfer. PCH’s involvement in the 2017 Canada 150 events accounts for higher expenditures in that fiscal year and in the previous year.
The program delivered and managed many major events and activities over the period of the evaluation. The majority (75%) of the media mentions of program activities were positive and there was an increase in media mentions over the period of the evaluation, from 262 articles in 2013-14 to 365 articles in 2017-18.
Access to events and activities in CCR:
- 173% increase in social media impressions.
- 654% increase in broadcast viewers.
Celebration of Canadian identity and reflect Canada’s diversity (2015 survey):
- 71% agreed that the activities were representative of Canada.
- 62% agreed that their visit gave them a better appreciation of Canada’s cultural and social diversity.
Access to information and orientation:
- 68% increase in the number of requests for information from Visitor Services.
Canadians experience CCR and its symbols and sites:
- 26,701 number of youth on average that participated in tours annually.
- 270k people in 2015 for the revamped Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill.
Tourism and economic impacts (Canada 150 survey):
- 90% of visitors said Canada Day influenced their decision to come to CCR in July 2017.
Various external challenges impacted the CE Program, including:
- Strengthened security on Parliament Hill.
- Involvement in the Canada 150 celebrations.
- Increased media attention to program events and projects.
- More frequent adverse weather conditions.
The CE Program implemented several strategies to address these factors and improve program delivery, including:
- Developing a strategy for public communications regarding weather conditions.
- Providing media training to employees.
The evaluation identified gaps for how the program addressed certain external factors, including:
- Level of partnerships with key stakeholders to improve the delivery of events and activities.
Mission and Strategy
The CE objectives are well-aligned with PCH’s mandate and priorities, particularly with respect to diversity and inclusion and strengthening Canadians’ sense of connection to each other and to Canada.
Half of program representatives and stakeholders indicated that the CE program mandate was clearly defined.
There were questions on whether promotion of the Capital remained an objective now that the CE program was in a department with a national mandate.
The program demonstrated support for cultural diversity, as well as government and PCH priority groups including Indigenous peoples, through its events and activities as well as through internal departmental policies and practices, such as volunteers with diverse backgrounds.
There was evidence of plans and actions to better integrate the CE program within PCH.
The successful delivery of events and projects was identified as evidence of effective integration. The early challenges of the integration had stabilized over time.
The results of the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) demonstrated that the majority of CE Program employees had resettled into new working circumstances following the transfer of the CE Program from the NCC to PCH.
The CE Program complements other PCH programming with minimal duplication.
The manner in which CE Program delivery is organized has led to collaborations among programs, mostly with respect to event delivery, including state ceremonies such as State funerals and installations of new Governors general. Consistent with its outward-facing role, the CE Program has many partnering arrangements and collaborations at the project level, both internal and external to PCH, which has facilitated program delivery.
While the program’s design and delivery model has features that support efficiency, the evaluation identified some opportunities for improvement: clarification of some roles and responsibilities; common approach for strategic communications and collaborations.
Major events were successfully delivered though the transfer may have led to more last-minute work, and additional workflow implications due to the policy and regulatory differences between a Crown corporation and a federal department. These affected, for example, the extent to which sponsorships could be used for events, and to turnaround times for the hiring of artists for major events.
The transfer of the CE Program from NCC to PCH had impacts on the delivery and results of the programming, particularly at the beginning of the transfer. Transferred full-time employees were not fully available to CE for program delivery, as these were integrated into other functions at PCH. While CE events and projects were generally delivered as planned, these HR resource factors had implications for the efficiency of CE Program delivery.
Sponsorship faced funding gaps and barriers related to the misalignment of the federal sponsorship model to the former model at NCC. However, by 2017-18, revenue had met goals.
The evaluation recommends that the assistant deputy minister for Sport, Major Events and Commemorations Sector further develop, communicate and implement strategic priorities for the program, which will guide and define the program’s development and delivery.
©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2022
Catalogue Number: CH7-67/2-2022E-PDF
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