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; and
  • creating opportunities for Canadians to participate in celebrations that create a sense of pride and belonging to Canada.

Application deadline

November 21

When an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or statutory holiday, it is extended to the following working day.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your organization must be a:

  • Canadian not-for-profit organization such as a corporation, trust, cooperative, unincorporated association, etc.;
  • Canadian business corporation where projects are non-commercial in nature; or
  • 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); or
  • A local band council, local tribal council or other local Aboriginal 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 National Indigenous Peoples Day, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day and Canada Day (in certain cases, funded activities may be undertaken up to five days prior to the Celebrate Canada period, except for Canada Day which has to be held on the designated day of July 1st);
  • be free of charge (no admission fees or donation required for entry); and
  • be open to the general public and promoted as such.
  • For the 2021 celebratory period, the Celebrate Canada program offers funding recipients the flexibility of holding a virtual event.

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, 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.

Eligible expenses

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

  • promotional expenses, communications, entertainment, supplies, equipment rental;
  • birthday cake for Canada Day Celebrations (for activities held in the territories - Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon - all food expenses are eligible);
  • ceremonial and traditional food (such as Bannock on National Indigenous Peoples Day) for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, National Indigenous Peoples Day and Canadian Multiculturalism Day celebrations;
  • fireworks;
  • administrative costs (not exceeding 15% of the total contribution), such as salaries and benefits, fees for professional services, bank charges and utilities; and
  • reasonable travel/hospitality expenses inside Canada, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business.

Costs related to major infrastructures; equipment purchase; lobbying activities; advocacy; activities or services that take place outside Canada; prizes; fairs and festivals; and liquor permits are not eligible for funding from Celebrate Canada.

We cannot fund expenses incurred before April 1. 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 or contributions. 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.

A complete application package includes:

  • the Application Form, completed and signed (end of Part F – Attestation); for paper copies, all miscalculations, deletions or corrections (in Part C – Planned Expenses and Revenues) must be initialed by the applicant;
  • the sub-components of the Application Form:
    • the Direct Deposit Form (if you have not yet completed one, or if your information has changed);
    • the Unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Responsibility Form (only in the case of an unincorporated group);
  • proof of legal status, which can include letters patent, incorporation documents; and
  • the most recent financial statements for clients requesting over $100,000 (Provinces, Municipalities, Public Schools, Universities, Hospitals, Band Councils and Endowment Funds are exempt).

Application process

  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form.
  • Attach all the required supporting documents.

Email submissions

  • For applications requesting $5,000 or less:

Please submit your application package electronically at this address:

  • For applications requesting more than $5,000:

Please submit your application package electronically to your nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage:

The embedded “sent” date must be no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your application to be considered.

Mail or in-person submissions

You can mail or courier your complete application package to the nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Your application must be postmarked or hand-delivered no later than the published deadline to be considered.

If you would like to submit your application by fax, please contact your nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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:

  • proposals that seek wider participation and that are inclusive of various community groups such as Aboriginal groups, official language minority communities, ethno cultural groups and youth;
  • applicants who have obtained financial support from other sources; and
  • activities held on the designated day.

Evaluation criteria

For applications requesting $5,000 or less:

  • expected participation.

For applications requesting more than $5,000:

  • how the proposed project adheres to Program objectives;
  • the use of Canadian symbols/history;
  • the use of partnerships;
  • whether activities are taking place on their designated day;
  • the accessibility of the site;
  • how realistic is the anticipated attendance;
  • the completeness of the application;
  • how balanced and realistic is the budget;
  • what other sources of revenue have been identified; and
  • the number of eligible activities that are part of the project.

Application processing time

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

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of receiving your application. If you have not received confirmation from the Department within 14 days of submission, please contact your nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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 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/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 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.

Should you receive funding, you must inform your nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage if you make significant changes to your activity. This includes changes to your activities and your activity dates.

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 publically 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.

Environmental Assessment Act

If you receive funding, your project may be subject to the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. 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; 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.

Annex: Guide for Virtual Events

Meet the Program Objectives

  • Ensure that the event meets the objectives of the Program.
  • Remember that Canada Day celebrations must take place on July 1, and that other celebrations must take place during the period of June 21 to July 1, 2021.

What is Your Vision?

  • Choose a date and time for your event.
  • Decide on a platform (your organization’s website, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Vimeo, Zoom, Teams Live Event, Grenadine, etc.).
  • Determine the scope of the project (local, regional, pan-Canadian).
  • Determine the type of virtual event you want to have (hybrid, live, semi-live, pre-recorded).
  • Form partnerships with other organizations that can help with facilitation, equipment, production and distribution.
  • Promote your event in advance so your audience knows how and when to tune in (and don’t forget to use #hashtags to widen your reach!)
  • Ensure cultural and linguistic representation as you plan: showcase both official languages, and represent the diversity of your community in the content of your event (youth, seniors, multicultural groups, Indigenous people).
  • Canadian Heritage may be able to offer you additional visibility via its social media platforms. If you would like us to help you promote your activity, please tag us in your social media messages using the handles below:

Logistics and Technology

  • Make sure you have the equipment you need (cameras, microphones, lighting, webcams, HD camera, sound system), as well as licenses for the platforms that will be used.
  • Make sure you include tech-savvy people in the planning of the event and on the day itself to help with any problems.
  • Ensure that social distancing restrictions are respected at all times.

Consent and Copyright

  • Check with your artist(s) regarding consent and copyright.
  • On top of your regular artist contracts, you will need to make sure you have appropriate agreements in place for copyright use in broadcasting your event.
  • Determine what your platform requires of you (use of someone’s image, copyright for original music, etc.) and get those in place beforehand.

Test It Out!

  • Test in advance to check for potential technical problems and help your guests familiarize themselves with the tools.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Celebration and Commemoration Program
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5


1-866-811-0055 (toll-free, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET).


1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, toll-free, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET))

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (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.
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.
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 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.
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); or
  • Local (active in a community or neighborhood).
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; or
  • 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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