Application Guidelines - Legacy Fund

Building Communities through Arts and Heritage

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Objectives and expected results for the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

The Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program helps you celebrate your community, its past and its present. The Program increases opportunities for local artists, artisans, heritage performers or specialists and First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultural carriers to be involved in their community. It also allows local groups to commemorate their local history and heritage. The expected results of the program are as follows:

  • citizens have the opportunity to get involved in their community through the arts and heritage;
  • partners within the local community support the festivals and local commemorative projects;
  • citizens have access to arts and local heritage; and
  • artists, artisans, heritage performers or specialists and cultural carriers have the opportunity to get involved in their community.

Objectives and expected results for the Legacy Fund

The Legacy Fund component supports community-initiated capital projects that restore, renovate or transform an existing building or exterior space (such as a statue, community hall, monument, garden or work of art) intended for community use. The expected results of the Legacy Fund component are as follows:

  • more existing buildings or exterior spaces in local communities that are restored, renovated or transformed, and therefore available for community use; and
  • citizens have the opportunity to get involved in the preservation of heritage in their community.

Application deadline

There is no established deadline date to submit a funding application under Legacy Fund component, as applications are accepted on a continuous basis. However, you must submit your application no later than the date of the anniversary being celebrated. You are encouraged to submit your application at least 12 months prior to the proposed start date for your project (or six months prior for smaller projects with total costs of 200K or less).

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your organization must have been in operation for at least two years, plan to continue operating after this project’s completion, and be one of the following:

  • a local non-profit incorporated organization; or
  • a local band council, local tribal council, or other local Indigenous government (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) or equivalent organization; or
  • a municipal administration or any of its agencies, boards or commissions that, for the purposes of your proposed commemoration project, demonstrate an active partnership with at least one community-based group.

In addition, all applicants, including the community-based groups that will partner with municipal governments, must:

  • have a publicly stated objective that is linked to the local community; and
  • encourage local community engagement through activities that promote, celebrate, and preserve local arts or local heritage.

For projects with multiple stakeholders, the applicant must be responsible for implementing the project, including managing the finances and taking legal responsibility.

The following groups or individuals are not eligible:

  • ad hoc groups and organizations without legal incorporation;
  • for-profit businesses;
  • federal, provincial or territorial governments and their agencies, councils or commissions that are not connected to the municipal government, with the exception of band councils and equivalents, as provided above;
  • educational institutions, including universities, colleges and school boards; public libraries, hospitals;
  • groups with an exclusively provincial, territorial, national or international mandate;
  • groups whose complete final reports for festivals, events, or projects previously funded by the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program have not been received by the Department; and
  • individuals.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from the Legacy Fund, your project must be a community-initiated project that is intended to commemorate a significant local historical event or pay tribute to a significant local historical personality marking a 100th anniversary or greater, in increments of 25 years (e.g. 125th, 150th). The project must involve the restoration, renovation, or transformation of an existing building and/or exterior space intended for community use, such as, but not limited to:

  • a community museum or theatre;
  • a longhouse;
  • a public garden or park for which over half the costs deemed reasonable by us are devoted to the arts and heritage elements (the legacy) of the anniversary; and
  • a formerly religious building transferred to secular use.

Eligible projects also include the purchase, commissioning, restoration, and/or installation of objects that will transform an existing building and/or exterior space intended for community use. The object must be permanent, such as, but not limited to:

  • a work of art;
  • a monument;
  • a sculpture; and
  • a public mural.

The following projects are not eligible:

  • buildings celebrated for their architectural history, unless they have played a significant role in the enhancement of community life;
  • projects that forecast a deficit;
  • projects that receive financial support under the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund or components of the Celebration and Commemoration Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, including Celebrate Canada;
  • projects commemorating Canada Day (July 1), National Aboriginal Day (June 21), Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), or Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27);
  • projects commemorating the national days, historical events, or personalities of other countries or projects taking place outside Canada;
  • projects that are primarily intended for recreation or sport, unless celebrating a locally significant anniversary of a sport or recreational activity;
  • projects that are of a religious, political, or commercial nature;
  • projects on grave sites or cemeteries (including cenotaphs);
  • public works projects such as the building or restoration of roads, wharfs, and sewers;
  • construction of a new building; and
  • historical building renovations that are not directly linked to the commemoration (e.g., buildings less than 100 years old).

If your project does not meet the Legacy Fund’s requirements, please visit the Funding Opportunities section of our website for more funding options.

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value (see definition in the Glossary), are eligible. They must be directly linked to activities that encourage and promote community engagement and reflect the expected results of the Legacy Fund, through projects that commemorate a significant historical event or personality. Some examples include:

  • costs related to the restoration, renovation, or transformation of a building and/or an exterior space, including demolition, excavation, materials, labour and specialized equipment;
  • costs related to the commissioning and/or installation of statues, murals, works of art, and Indigenous gathering circles;
  • acquisition of land, buildings, or significant objects;
  • costs associated with the unveiling/launch of the commemorative project of up to 10 percent of total eligible project costs to a maximum of $10,000;
  • the commissioning of planning and design studies for the project (e.g., architectural drawings, engineering studies, environmental assessments, heritage reports);
  • costs incurred in conducting project financial audits for requests over $250,000;
  • costs of recruiting, training, and supporting local volunteers who are directly involved in the transformation of a building/exterior space;
  • project contingency of up to 10 percent of cash expenses directed towards planning, acquisition, construction, or material costs of the project;
  • cost of insurance for eligible activities; and
  • HST, PST, GST: only the portion of the applicable tax that is not reimbursable by the federal government through its tax credit program is eligible.

The following expenses are not eligible:

  • costs related to routine maintenance;
  • operating expenses of your organization (e.g., salaries, business travel expenses, office equipment and furniture, vehicles);
  • purchase, commission, or restoration of religious art or artifacts currently used or projected for use in the practice of religious rites or ceremonies;
  • archaeological digs;
  • costs related to public works infrastructures such as building/restoration of roads, wharfs, or sewers;
  • restoration of cemeteries or grave sites (including cenotaphs); and
  • purchase, commission, or restoration of items that are intended for sale.

We cannot fund expenses incurred before we receive your application. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

The Legacy Fund is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Legacy Fund and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of your total project-related costs.

We can fund up to 50% of your project’s total eligible expenses. Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of $100,000 per project. Contributions may be awarded up to a maximum of $500,000 per project.

We will accept only one project per community commemorating a single person or event through the Legacy Fund. If we receive more than one such application, we will inform you and you will be required to contact the municipal administration or equivalent authority to determine which project will be submitted.

Applying for projects that are more than 12 months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months. You must then show that there is a need for a multi-year commitment and that you have the capacity to complete the project. This is demonstrated with a realistic project timeline and budget projections as well as sound governance.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety and contact a Legacy Fund officer before completing your application.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package is comprised of the General Application Form and the documents identified on the last page of the general application form, which includes the following items that are required to determine the applicant and project eligibility:

  • the Application Form (signatures required);
  • the Legacy Fund Budget;
  • a proof of the anniversary date;
  • a copy of your organization’s letters patent and/or documents of incorporation;
  • a copy or weblink of your organization’s by-laws;
  • a copy of your organization’s two most recent financial statements (audited if available); and
  • documentation of ownership or long-term facility lease (minimum ten years) or operational agreements between the organization and the facility owner.

If you are a local non-profit incorporated organization:

  • a letter of support from the municipal administration or equivalent authority that includes:
    • endorsement over all others in your community of the capital project to commemorate this anniversary; and
    • the monetary value of the cash and/or in-kind support to this project, presented separately.

If you are a municipality:

  • a letter of support from your local partner group in which it describes its role in the project, and how the completed project supports its mandate. The partner group must also demonstrate that its members will:
    • have a meaningful degree of decision-making authority from conception to execution of the project; and
    • be primarily or jointly responsible for the operations, programming or maintenance of the completed project (where relevant).

If the project will have ongoing activities after its completion, please include any signed agreements between the two parties.

Application process

  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form;
  • Attach all the required supporting documents; and
  • Submit your application in only one format.

Mail or in-person submissions

You can mail, courier or hand-deliver your complete application package to the nearest office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Email submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically to the following email address:

Please contact us if you wish to submit your application package by fax.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Your application will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria below by a review committee who will compare it with other applications and prioritize it in relation to the funds available.

Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously funded project will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in a rejection of your new application.

Evaluation criteria

The following factors will be considered:

How does your project engage the local community?

  • Volunteers directly involved in the project;
  • Community partners that provide cash or in-kind support to the project;
  • Visibility of the project, during and after its completion; and
  • Accessibility of the finished project for the community and visitors.

In what way are the arts and heritage featured during the anniversary commemoration activities and to what extent will your project make local arts and heritage better known in the community?

  • The impact which the event or person had on the community (relevance of the anniversary);
  • Elements of the project that are directly linked to the event or person(s) being celebrated;
  • Engagement of local artists, artisans and specialists and/or cultural carriers during the project;
  • Future arts and/or heritage activities planned for the project site; and
  • The impact the project will have on community awareness of the person or event being celebrated.

To what extent does your organization have the ability to successfully carry out the project as proposed?

  • Your ability to carry out the project on a reasonable and balanced budget (without surplus or deficit).

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the Program.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of receiving it. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within this time, please contact us.

Funding decisions

We determine funding amounts based on your financial need. Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final.

How funding is provided

We will determine if funding will be disbursed as a grant or as a contribution.

A grant is a payment issued to a recipient for a project. The conditions you agreed to at the time of application will apply. At the end of your project, you may be required to submit a report and/or participate in the evaluation of results.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued to your organization for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The agreement is signed by your organization and by us and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of your project, you must submit a final report.

Funding conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project. If you receive $250,000 or more as a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report. Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.

Anti-racism and anti-hate

Canadian Heritage is committed to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and create environments where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered. We strive to challenge discriminatory beliefs and practices, cultivate understanding and empathy, and champion policies and programs that advance equality for all.

Organizations receiving funding, including any representatives whether employees, consultants, or other persons directly affiliated with the organization, must take steps to ensure they respect the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

Official languages requirements

We are committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application and in your funding agreement.

Diversity and inclusion

It is expected that all activities undertaken as part of funded projects will take into consideration the needs of diverse Canadians, including but not limited to Indigenous Peoples, Canadians of various faiths, cultures, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Impact Assessment Act

If you receive funding, your project may be subject to the provisions of the Impact Assessment Act. If your activities are to be carried out on federal lands, we will contact you for additional information prior to the start of your project.

Preservation of Historic Places in Canada

If your project includes the restoration and/or renovation of a historic place recognized by a municipal, provincial or territorial government and/or is listed with the Canadian Register of Historic Places, we will seek assurance of adherence to the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, available at, and that provincial, territorial and/or municipal regulations and laws protecting heritage value will be respected.

Access to information requests

We are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you submit in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

  • to reach a decision;
  • to evaluate the results of the project; and
  • to support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation.

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us.

Department of Canadian Heritage
Building Communities through Arts and Heritage
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B3
1-866-811-0055 (toll free)
1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired).

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 (ET).


An individual who makes crafts using glass, wood, stone, textiles and leather, etc. according to ancestral traditions.
An individual who practices an artistic discipline (i.e., music, dance or theatre) or one of the applied arts.
Audited financial report
An audited financial report includes a statement of operations for the given period with regard to the Project and is prepared by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization.
Audited financial statements
A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Business plan
A written document that describes your organization’s current status and plans for two to five years. It identifies future opportunities and includes the financial, operational and marketing strategies to achieve your goals.
Cash flow
A presentation of all anticipated revenues and planned expenses that will occur over the length of your project. At the beginning of your project, your cash flow will have only forecasted revenues and expenses. Over time, your cash flow will be updated to reflect the actual revenues and expenses.
People who live in and share the same geographical area, which is smaller than a province or a territory.
Community engagement
Community engagement represents the collaboration of members of a community regarding a common cause.
Cultural carriers
Cultural Carriers are individuals whose role within First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities supports the preservation, retention, maintenance, and knowledge production/transfer of specific Indigenous worldviews, cultural practices and traditions through art and creative practice. This may include Elders, knowledge keepers, traditional educators and language holders.
Ethnocultural communities
A group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage. For the purpose of this definition, ethnocultural communities include Canadians of diverse culture such as, but not limited to African, Arab, Asian, Latin American or mixed heritage.
Feasibility study
Report conducted in advance of a project to determine the likelihood of the project’s success. It is prepared by an independent consultant, architect and/or engineer or other specialist.
Federal lands
  1. lands that belong to His Majesty in right of Canada, or that His Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above those lands, other than lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut;
  2. the following lands and areas:
    1. the internal waters of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province;
    2. the territorial sea of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province;
    3. the exclusive economic zone of Canada; and
    4. the continental shelf of Canada; and
  3. reserves, surrendered lands and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band and that are subject to the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves or lands.

The following resources may help you determine if the site of your activities is on federal land.

Final financial report
A final financial report includes, as separate items, the budget as well as all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred for the given period with regard to the Project being funded.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project and include a final report of actual revenues and expenses.
Financial statements
A complete set of financial statements, including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.
Comprises activities related to tangible or intangible attributes related to history for the purpose of this program. Examples: artifacts, art objects, archives, stories, songs, legends, traditions, historical sites and events, but not restricted to them.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
In-kind contribution (in-kind support)

In-kind support is considered to be a real contribution to the total planned expenses, but is not reimbursable. Donated goods or services may be eligible if they:

  • are essential to the project’s success;
  • are eligible expenses and would otherwise be purchased by the recipient;
  • are assessed at fair market value (in relation to the purchase of similar materials and services); and
  • are recorded in the budget at fair market value such that total in-kind expenses equal total in-kind revenue.
Interim reports
Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your interim report will provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for a specific period, a report on the status of work to be accomplished and include updated revenue and expense reports.

Pertaining to a geographic area that is smaller than a province or territory, with a population characterized by a common culture, economic activity, heritage, etc.; and by extension:

  • local artist or artisan or cultural carrier: an artist or artisan or cultural carrier born in, residing in, or having a significant connection to the geographic community identified by the applicant;
  • local historical event: an occurrence in the past that contributed to shaping the geographic community identified by the applicant;
  • local group or organization: a group or organization that, through either its mandate, objectives or activities, clearly engages the geographic community in which it operates;
  • local heritage: historical events or personalities directly linked to the history of the geographic community identified by the applicant; and
  • local historical personality: a person who was born in, resided in, or had a significant connection to the geographic community identified by the applicant.
Official-language minority communities
Official-language minority communities are the Francophone communities located outside of Quebec and the English-speaking communities located in Quebec.
The members of a community taking part in activities such as festivals, events or projects. This participation can take various forms including donations of time, money, goods, services, etc.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.

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