Designation of institutions and public authorities - Movable Cultural Property

From: Canadian Heritage


Please be advised that staff for the Designation of Institutions and Public Authorities Program currently has limited access to PCH offices. To avoid delays in reviewing your application, it is currently not recommended to send application forms and related material by mail. For the shipping of any material, please send an email to with “Shipping of material” indicated in the title. A Program Officer will contact you to advise on the process to follow.

Notice regarding designation: Cultural property object classes and objects exhibited outdoors

This notice is intended to provide clarification on designation of organizations in relation to specific cultural property object classes.

Please consult Clarification regarding designation and eligibility to apply for certification of movable cultural property for more information.

Designated organizations are located in Canada and demonstrate the ability to ensure the long-term preservation of cultural property. They also make cultural property available to the public through exhibitions, programming or research.

Organizations must be officially designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage to access the tax incentives and grant provisions under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

Organizations are designated for specific classes of cultural property .

Who can apply

Designated organizations are:

  • institutions such as museums, public art galleries, archives, and libraries; and
  • public authorities such as cities, municipalities, Aboriginal governing bodies, and other government bodies that collect, preserve and present cultural property.

To be eligible for designation, applicants must be either a public authority or an institution as defined under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

  • Any institution that is public, charitable, located in Canada, and has been in operation for at least two years may apply for Category A or Category B designation. However, an institution that has been in operation for less than two years but at least one year may be eligible to apply for Category B designation.
  • Applicants must also have occupied for at least one year the buildings where movable cultural property will be stored and/or exhibited.

To find out if they are eligible for designation, organizations should fill out the Self-assessment tool.

Application deadline

There are no deadlines for the submission of designation applications.

How to apply

To obtain a copy of the application guide, application form or facilities evaluation, please contact the Heritage Policy and Programs Branch (Designation component).

Service standards

Our goal is to acknowledge receipt of applications within 15 calendar days, and once an application is deemed complete, to issue an official written decision within 38 weeks.

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Heritage Policy and Programs Branch
25 Eddy Street, 9th Floor (25-9-N)
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).

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