Summary of the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program (CTEIP), 2011-12 to 2014-15

The objectives of the CTEIP are as follows:

  • to increase access for Canadians to Canada’s and world’s heritage through the exchange of artifacts and exhibitions in Canada;
  • to provide Canadian art galleries, museums, archives, and libraries with a competitive advantage when competing for the loan of prestigious international exhibitions.

The CTEIP is relevant

  • Meet ongoing needs (government protection of loaned objects, relative protection against upward fluctuation of insurance premiums and the value of the Canadian dollar and investments in museum facilities (security, lighting, temperature or humidity control).
  • Aligned with Government of Canada and PCH priorities (support for museums and improved access to Canadian and world heritage for Canadians).
  • Aligned with federal government roles and responsibilities (support for access to Canada’s culture and heritage).

Overall, the program is achieving its outcomes by having

  • supported 29 exhibitions in 34 institutions;
  • indemnified cultural objects with a total value of $6.6 billion;
  • increased by 206 % the annual average value of exhibitions compared to 2006-2011.

Close to 4 million people visited indemnified exhibitions. The program greatly exceeded its annual performance target of 700,000 visitors. In the last assessment, the target was 486,000 visitors.

Attendance at indemnified exhibitions compared with the visitor target for 2011-2012 ? 2014-2015
Chart description

Chart description: attendance at indemnified exhibitions compared with the visitor target for 2011-2012 à 2014-2015.





Total visitors





Visitor target





  • Total savings by the institutions during the period assessed were $3.3 million.
  • The savings achieved represent more than twice the cost of the program.
  • The administrative cost per travelling exhibition is $52,515.

However, it is desirable to increase the program’s accessibility and efficiency

Issue: increasing accessibility

Facilitating the indemnification of more travelling exhibits presented by various public institutions.

According to the Act

Institution means a museum, art gallery, archives or library that (a) is publicly owned; (b) operates for educational or cultural services; (c) operates solely for the benefit of the public; (d) and exhibits objects to the public.

Program outcome

100 % of indemnified exhibitions are displayed in museums and nearly 60 % of them were in four museums.

According to the Regulations

The exhibition must display objects of cultural property that are of significance in the areas of archaeology, prehistory, history, sociology, ethnography, art or science.

Program outcome

Only the areas of art and archeology received indemnification.

However, indemnifying more small exhibitions could have an impact on the program’s performance, as the greater the value of the exhibition, the greater the insurance savings.

Institutions in the Atlantic Provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) and in Canada’s northern territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut) did not receive indemnification.

One national exhibition was indemnified and displayed in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario from a total of 29 exhibitions.

Recommendation 1: effectiveness (greater accessibility)

Given the increase in the government’s liability limit, it is suggested that the Assistant Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Heritage and Regions study ways to facilitate access to the program for heritage institutions that might benefit from the protection afforded for presenting travelling exhibitions, to improve access to culture and sharing of heritage, especially Canadian heritage.

Issue: improving the processing of applications

Improving the program’s efficiency by optimizing the processing of applications and the decision-making process

Costs generated by an application reduce potential insurance savings.

Areas for improvement

The X indicates the areas of improvement for the identified issues.

Processing of applications

Decision-making process

Contributing to the Internet site


Scanning forms and creating a database



Making applications accessible at any time throughout the year


Streamlining indemnity agreements


Disassociating information on transportation from the final approval



Formalizing terms of reference for expert panel


Recommendation 2: efficiency (processing applications)

The special nature of the program requires measures to protect the Government of Canada against risks incurred in the transport and exhibition of cultural objects. While factoring in this constraint, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Heritage and Regions is urged to review the program’s administrative process to improve the experience of beneficiaries and the efficiency of the decision-making process for applications.

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