Designation: Self-Assessment Tool - Movable Cultural Property

Designated organizations can apply to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (Review Board) for certification of cultural property as being of "outstanding significance and national importance" for tax purposes as well as to apply to the Department of Canadian Heritage for movable cultural property grants.

This self-assessment tool is designed to help you understand and prepare for the designation application process.

Once completed, you will know:

  1. Whether your organization requires designation.
  2. If your organization is eligible to apply for designation.
  3. The type of designation status you should seek.
  4. What key documents you will need in order to apply.

Note: this is a self-assessment tool intended for your own use and reference. It is not necessary to submit the self-assessment with your application.

A. Does your organization need designation?

1. Does your organization have a donor or vendor who wants to obtain certification of cultural property for income tax purposes?

2. Does your organization plan on applying to the Review Board to have a donation or sale certified and a tax certificate issued?

3. Does your organization plan to apply for a Movable Cultural Property grant to assist with the purchase of eligible cultural property?

Analysis:

If you answered "no" to all of these questions, the organization may not require designation and there is no need to continue completing the self-assessment tool.

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, then the organization may be eligible for designation. Please continue to the next section of the self-assessment tool.

B. Is your organization eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply for designation, an organization must be either a public authority or an institution, as defined by the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (the Act).

4. Is your organization:

4a. a national, provincial/territorial, municipal or regional government?

4b. a Crown agency or Crown corporation?

4c. a public body performing a function of the Government of Canada?

Analysis:

If you answered "yes" to numbers 4a, b or c, then the organization meets the definition of a public authority under the Act and you should proceed to question 5 below.

If you answered "no" to each question, then the organization does not meet the definition of a public authority. Please continue to question 7 to determine if the organization may qualify as an institution.

To be eligible to apply for designation, a public authority must also meet all of the following requirements:

5. Are you a public authority able to issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes?

6. Is your organization committed to preserve for the long term certified cultural property or cultural property acquired with a Movable Cultural Property grant and commit itself to inform the Department of Canadian Heritage of any deaccession of these properties, if applicable?

Analysis: If you answered "yes" to numbers 5 and 6 then you are able to apply for designation as a public authority. Please proceed to Section C. A "no" response to 5 or 6 indicates that the public authority is not eligible to apply for designation and there is no need to complete the self-assessment tool.

7. To determine if your organization is an institution, please answer the following questions. Is the organization:

7a. publicly owned and operated solely for the benefit of the public? In other words, does the organization have a public mandate and is it managed exclusively in the public interest?

7b. established for educational or cultural purposes?

7c. conserving and exhibiting objects or otherwise making them available to the public?

Analysis:

If you answered "yes" to questions 7a, b and c, then the organization meets the definition of an institution under the Act.

Any single "no" response to 7a, b or c, means that the organization does not meet the definition of an institution and cannot apply for designation. It is not necessary to continue completing the self-assessment tool.

To be eligible to apply for designation, an institution must also meet all of the following requirements:

8. Does your organization own the building(s) where it displays and houses objects or hold a long-term lease (minimum 10 years)?

9. Is your organization a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency, and is it able to issue official donation receipts for income-tax purposes?

10. a) Does your organization have a dissolution clause indicating that certified cultural property or cultural property acquired with a Movable Cultural Property grant will be transferred to another designated organization if your organization ceases operations? This criteria does not apply to units established within a public university or college (if this is the case, check N/A).

10. b) If your organization does not have such a clause, are you prepared to amend your bylaws or, if applicable, the legal document establishing the organization to include such a clause?

10. c) Is your organization committed to preserve for the long term certified cultural property or cultural property acquired with a Movable Cultural Property grant and does your organization commit itself to inform the Department of Canadian Heritage of any deaccession of these properties, if applicable?

Analysis:

For institutions that are not operating under the authority of a public university or college:

If you answered "yes" to numbers 8, 9, and 10 (either a or b; and c), then you are able to apply for designation as an institution.

Any single "no" response to 8 or 9 or a "no" response to 10 b or c indicates that the organization is not eligible to apply for designation. Should this be the case, there is no need to complete the self-assessment tool.

For units established within a public university or college:

If you answered "yes" to numbers 8, 9 and 10c, then you are able to apply for designation as an institution. If you respond "no" to 8 or 9 or 10c your organization is not eligible to apply for designation. Should this be the case, there is no need to complete the self-assessment tool.

C. What type of designation do you need?

Two types of designation are possible: Category A and Category B. Designation cannot be granted in relation to cultural property already owned by the organization.

Category A designation is granted indefinitely to eligible organizations that collect, preserve and make cultural property accessible to the public through exhibitions, research, publications or online.

Category B designation is granted indefinitely to eligible organizations that intend to apply to the Review Board to have a specific object or collection certified as cultural property for income tax purposes. Category B designation relates only to an already identified object or collection and not to any future acquisition. Category B designation is also intended for non-designated organization that wish to apply for a Movable Cultural Property Grant for the purchase of eligible cultural property.

Answer the following questions to find out which category best suits your organization.

11. Does your organization have a mandate to collect and preserve cultural property?

12. Does your organization actively collect items for the collection?

13. Is the collection available to the public through exhibitions, research, publications or online?

14. Does your organization have the appropriate staff, facility and budget to preserve a collection of cultural property over the long term?

15. Has your organization been in operation for at least two years?

16. Are you seeking designation with a specific object or collection in mind?

17. Does your organization have the capacity to ensure that the specific object or collection will be preserved over the long term?

Analysis:

If you answered "yes" to numbers 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, then it is possible to apply for Category A designation. If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then it is not possible to apply for a Category A designation.

If you answered "no" to numbers 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 but "yes" to numbers 16 and 17 then you may apply for Category B designation if your organization has been in operation for at least one year.

If you answered "no" to the majority of questions 11 to 17, then you may not qualify for designation. Please contact the Heritage Policy and Programs Directorate if you have any questions as applications are assessed on a case by case basis.

D. What documents do you need to apply?

In order to be designated, applicant organizations must submit detailed information about their organization to demonstrate their capacity to preserve cultural property and make it accessible to the public. These include:

  • Official charter documents, letters patent, legislation, or governing bylaws;
  • Written, up-to-date plans and policies relating to collections, exhibitions, loans, fire safety, security and disaster management;
  • Records indicating that the organization has been monitoring the relative humidity and temperature levels in its facility for the past twelve months;
  • Detailed floor plans and representative photographs, clearly labelled and identified, of the exterior of each facility and of all areas within the facility where collections are exhibited, stored, consulted and conserved.

Conclusion

Now that you have completed the self-assessment tool, you should be able to determine whether you require designation and what documents you need to apply. The Heritage Policy and Programs Directorate is available to answer any questions that you may have.

If you are uncertain whether your facility meets designation guidelines, you may wish to contact the Canadian Conservation Institute before applying for designation.

If you are interested in obtaining a Canadian Conservation Institute site evaluation before applying for designation, this service is provided for a fee.

Canadian Conservation Institute
Telephone: 613-998-3721
or toll-free in Canada: 1-866-998-3721
Fax: 613-998-4721
TTY/TDD: 819-997-3123
Website: Canadian Conservation Institute

Contact Us

Heritage Policy and Programs Directorate
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street (25-9-N)
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5

Phone: (819) 997–7756
Toll free: 1-866-811-0055
Fax: (819) 997–8392
TTY/TDD: 1-888-997-3121
Email: pch.bcm-mcp.pch@canada.ca
Website: Designation

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