Application guidelines - Celebrate Canada

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Objectives and expected results for Celebrate Canada

Celebrate Canada provides funding to community-based activities celebrating and promoting National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27 and Canada Day on July 1. These celebrations enable Canadians to appreciate Canada’s cultural, ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity.

The expected results of Celebrate Canada’s support of community-based activities include:

  • providing access to celebrations across Canada, to enable all Canadians to appreciate Canada’s cultural, ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity
  • creating opportunities for Canadians to participate in celebrations that create a sense of pride and belonging to Canada

Application deadline

The application intake is now closed.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your organization must be 1 of the following:

  • a Canadian not-for-profit organization such as a corporation, trust, cooperative, unincorporated association, etc.
  • a Canadian business corporation where projects are non-commercial in nature
  • a Canadian educational institution, Canadian municipal government or other municipal, provincial/territorial institution
  • an Indigenous Peoples institution or organization (Indigenous Peoples include Inuit, Métis, Status and Non Status people)
  • a local band council, local tribal council or other local Indigenous government or organization (First Nations, Inuit or Métis)

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are ineligible to apply for funding support (with the exception of the Canada Place Corporation for Canada Day celebrations, as per the amendment to the Canada Marine Act).

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from Celebrate Canada, your project must:

  • be organized during the Celebrate Canada period, which runs from June 21 to July 1 to celebrate and promote either one or more days among National Indigenous Peoples Day, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day and Canada Day. Priority is given to events scheduled on the designated dates but in certain cases, funded activities may be undertaken up to five days prior to the Celebrate Canada period. Canada Day celebrations must be held on the designated day of July 1st
  • be free of charge (no admission fees or donation required for entry)
  • be open to the general public and promoted as such

The following activities are not eligible:

  • any events of a primarily religious, political, or commercial nature
  • activities whose primary purpose is fundraising or contests
  • conferences, symposiums, round-tables, workshops and other events not intended for the general public
  • activities that are (in whole or in part) an extension of regular or permanent programming
  • activities held on school grounds during school hours
  • events held on an individual’s private property

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses are eligible. These may include:

  • promotional expenses, communications, entertainment, supplies, equipment rental
  • cake for Canada Day celebrations
  • ceremonial and traditional food for National Indigenous Peoples Day and Canadian Multiculturalism Day celebrations only
  • fireworks
  • expenses related to a designated celebratory day within a festival
  • reasonable administrative costs (not exceeding 15% of the total contribution), such as salaries and benefits, fees for professional services, bank charges and utilities
  • reasonable travel/hospitality expenses inside Canada, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business

Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • costs related to BBQ, general food and beverages, and liquor permits
  • food for planning team and volunteers
  • facility rental costs when the organization owns the property or building
  • costs related to major infrastructure
  • equipment purchase
  • lobbying and advocacy activities
  • activities or services that take place outside Canada
  • prizes such as those associated with contests or competitions

If funding is approved, we may fund expenses incurred as of April 1 of the year in which the event takes place. However, 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.

Celebrate Canada is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization or group is eligible, submitting an application is not a guarantee of 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 or group, the private sector or other levels of government.

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

We can fund up to 100% of eligible expenses or up to $50,000 per fiscal year in the case of grants For projects that exceed $50,000 per fiscal year, we can fund up to 100% of eligible expenses under a contribution only.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding.

Using the Portal

The application form for Celebrate Canada is filled in and submitted using the Canadian Heritage (PCH) Funding Portal.

If this is the first time you are applying through the Portal, you will need to complete a two-step online application process (an Applicant Profile and an online application form) and upload the required documents prior to the deadline.

If your organization has previously created a PCH Online account (for this program or another PCH program), do not set up a new Applicant Profile. You only need to review the profile, modify the information as necessary and create a new online application.

If you are unable to log in, you may change your GCKey password through Service Canada. If you have other issues contact the Client Service and Public Support team at 1-866-811-0055. Do not set up a new applicant profile.

Applicant Profile (clients using the Portal for the first time)

NOTE: Even if you have previously submitted the following documents, you must provide these documents when you set up your applicant profile for the first time.

Incorporated clients must submit:

  • your organization’s 9-digit Federal Business Number from the Canada Revenue Agency (e.g., 123456789 RP0001)
  • proof of your organization’s legal status, with ONE of the following documents:
    • letters patent
    • incorporation documents
    • partnership agreements
    • constitution or bylaws or other recognized documentation

Unincorporated associations, ad hoc committees or trusts must submit:

  • unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Responsibility Form (available on the Portal)

All clients must submit:

  • Direct Deposit Enrollment Form (available on the Portal), either stamped by the financial institution or accompanied by a void cheque

NOTE: The name on the account must be the same as the name of the Applicant.

Online Application Form (ALL clients)

To complete your application, you will need the following documents:

  • delegation of signing authorities
  • most recent statutes and by-laws
  • most recent financial statements for clients requesting $100,000 or more
  • if applicable, the Unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Responsibility form (available on the Portal)

If you are unable to complete the application online, please contact the Client Service and Public Support team (contact info below).

Complete your Applicant Profile and your application form here.

Application process

Your application, including all supporting documents, should be submitted electronically through the Canadian Heritage Funding Portal. If you cannot access the new system or apply online for any reason, please contact our support team.

Your application, in any format, must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on the deadline date to be eligible.

The Client Service and Public Support team is available from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET) to assist with technical issues or questions related to the online application. Program staff in your respective region are available to assist with Program-related questions.

819-994-7065 or 1-888-997-3123

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 and in relation to the funds available. Applications requesting more than $5,000 will be evaluated by a Review Committee who will compare and prioritize it with other applications in relation to the funds available.

When prioritizing eligible applications, we will take into consideration:

  • events that meet the objectives of the Program and are held on the designated day
  • proposals that seek wider participation and that are inclusive of various community groups such as Indigenous groups, official language minority communities, ethnocultural groups and youth
  • applicants who have obtained financial support from other sources

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

Evaluation criteria

  • adherence to Program objectives and designated days
  • use of Canadian symbols
  • use of partnerships
  • scheduling of activities on their designated day
  • accessibility of the site
  • ability to engage a diverse audience
  • expected participation
  • completeness of the application (all sections completed with sufficient detail)
  • balanced and realistic budget
  • geographical location
  • other sources of revenue
  • number of eligible activities

Application processing time

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

Clients who submit their application will receive an automated acknowledgment message confirming receipt of the application. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam or junk mail folder, or contact us as necessary.

Funding decisions

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 must submit a final activity/results report and/or participate in the evaluation of results.

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

In signing the application form, the Recipient declares that they will undertake activities at the location(s) and on the date(s) described in the application. Once the Department has approved financial assistance, no major change can be made to the project without Departmental approval. Funds not used for these purposes must be returned to the Department. When the proposed project undergoes major changes, the Department reserves the right to reduce the grant or contribution at its sole discretion.

When the recipient informs the Department of major changes prior to the events, the Department will inform the Recipient, within 10 working days from the reception date, of any change to the funding amount.

Please note that failure to comply with any funding condition, including acknowledgement of financial assistance, can affect decisions about future funding for your organization and may require a return of funds.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

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 or in your funding agreement.

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.

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
  • to support transparency, accountability and citizen engagement

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

Funding received whether received as a grant or a contribution, may be audited by the Department or by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (pursuant to clause 7.1 of the Auditor General Act, R.S.C. (1985) 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.

If found to have submitted false or unsupported information, the Applicant may be required to repay the full amount of the financial support received and may be declared ineligible for funding from the Department for the next two fiscal years or more.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Celebration and Commemoration Program
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau QC  J8X 4B3

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET)).
1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, toll-free, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET))

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm (ET).


Administrative costs
Costs associated with the general management of a project or organization, such as salaries and benefits, fees for services, bank charges and utilities (not exceeding 15% of total contribution). The Program can only reimburse administrative costs directly related to the proposed project. Administrative costs related to the general operation of an organization are not eligible for funding.
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.
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.
Ceremonial or traditional foods
Ceremonial or traditional food is specific to a culture’s heritage and may be integral to a cultural celebration or ritual.
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.
Final activity/results report
A final activity/results report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final activity/results report needs to provide details about the activities, the results of the activities undertaken for the duration of your project and the total cost of your event. You may be required to provide photos and other evidence, such as posters or press clippings, to support your final report.
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.
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.
Geographical area of operation of the organization
  • Inter-provincial/Inter-territorial (active in at least two provinces or territories)
  • Provincial/Territorial (active throughout a province or territory)
  • Regional (active in at least two municipalities in a region)
  • Municipal (active in a municipality)
  • Local (active in a community or neighbourhood)
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities include First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Interim reports
Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. These reports indicate the results of the activities undertaken for a specific period. In addition, they include a status report on the work to be accomplished and updated revenue and expense reports.
Legal status
  • Established as a federal corporation (incorporated): Please provide the Date of incorporation and Registration number
  • Established as a provincial/territorial corporation (incorporated): This includes municipal governments. Please provide the Date of incorporation and Registration number
  • In the process of becoming a federal corporation: Please provide your date of application, leave the Incorporation/Registration number blank
  • In the process of becoming a provincial/territorial corporation: Please provide your date of application, leave the Incorporation/Registration number blank
  • Cooperative: Please provide date and number
  • Unincorporated association: Leave the date and Incorporation/Registration number blank and complete the Unincorporated applicant acceptance of responsibility form included in the Application Form
  • Registered charity: Please provide Canada Revenue Agency registration date and number
Official Language Minority Communities
The official language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.

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