Application guidelines - Commemorate Canada

Celebration and Commemoration Program

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Objectives and expected results for Celebration and Commemoration Program

The Celebration and Commemoration Program is comprised of two components: Celebrate Canada and Commemorate Canada. The Program aims to:

  • provide access to celebrations across Canada to enable all Canadians to appreciate Canada's cultural, ethnic, linguistic and geographic diversity;
  • provide access to commemorations and celebrations of national significance to all Canadians to recognize Canada's notable people, places, symbols, anniversaries and accomplishments; and
  • create opportunities for all Canadians to participate in national celebrations and commemorations that contribute to building a sense of pride and belonging to Canada.

Objectives and expected results for Commemorate Canada

The Commemorate Canada component provides funding to initiatives that support commemorations and celebrations of national significance in order to recognize diverse aspects of Canada's history.

Commemorate Canada objectives are to support activities that:

  • enable Canadians to recognize Canada's notable people, places, symbols, anniversaries, and accomplishments;
  • enhance knowledge and understanding of the shared history and values of Canada;
  • increase opportunities to participate in various commemorative activities and celebrations of national significance;
  • celebrate the French language and the diversity and richness of Francophone culture, heritage and history; and
  • recognize and commemorate the legacy of Residential Schools to create an environment within which to advance reconciliation.

Application deadline

There is no established deadline date to submit a funding application under Commemorate Canada, as applications are accepted on a continuous basis. However, you should submit your application at least 6 months prior to the proposed start date. Please take this into account when planning your project.

Who can apply

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

  • Canadian not-for-profit organization: corporation, trust, cooperative, or unincorporated association;
  • Canadian for-profit organization where proposed projects are non-commercial in nature;
  • Canadian educational institution; or
  • Canadian provincial/territorial, municipal government, Indigenous government (or equivalent authority) or another municipal, provincial or territorial institution.

The following are not eligible:

  • private individuals, and political parties; and
  • the federal government (with the exception of the Canada Place Corporation for Canada Day celebrations, as per the amendment to the Canada Marine Act).

Organizations may apply either individually or as partners in a joint project. In the case of partnerships, one organization must assume the lead role and responsibility for the project.

When third party delivery organizations are involved, the primary recipient of funding received through a contribution agreement must ensure that the ultimate recipients who receive financial assistance are eligible recipients under these eligibility criteria.

Eligible projects

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

  • take place in Canada;
  • be national or multi-regional in scope;
  • contribute to increasing awareness by Canadians of Canadian history;
  • contribute to increasing the sense of pride and belonging to Canada;
  • increase opportunities for Canadians to participate in commemorative activities of national significance;
  • engage at least one of the following target groups: youth; Indigenous; official-language minority communities; and ethnocultural communities;
  • engage the media; and
  • have obtained financial or in-kind support from other sources.

Additional requirements for projects involving monuments or commemorative plaques:

  • the subject must be of national symbolic importance for Canada;
  • a site must be appropriated; and
  • the project must include the development of interpretive programs and/or educational materials.

The project must not be designed for fundraising purposes or generate commercial advantage or profit.

Where the subject of the commemoration is a place, achievement or event, the proposal for commemoration should highlight the subject's 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th anniversary and subsequent such anniversaries. Where the subject is a person, the proposal should follow the same approach while taking into account that the subject must be deceased, must have been active in Canada and a minimum of ten years must have passed following the death of the individual.

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value, are eligible. These may include:

  • educational and learning materials, documentaries and research, website development, travelling and on-line exhibits, forums and conferences, plaques and monuments;
  • promotional expenses, marketing and communications (including translation and signage);
  • project expenses, including project coordination and implementation, professional services, event management and production costs, entertainment, supplies, rental equipment (sound, lighting);
  • ongoing administrative costs (not exceeding 15% of the total contribution), including ongoing salaries and benefits, administrative fees, bank charges, utilities; and
  • reasonable travel/hospitality expenses inside Canada, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business.

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • costs related to major infrastructure such as building/restoration of roads, bridges, buildings and purchase of land;
  • lobbying activities, advocacy;
  • ongoing activities (ex. production and distribution of regular issues of magazines, periodicals or newsletters);
  • fairs and festivals; and
  • fundraising activities.

In-kind contributions are considered real contributions to the cost of the proposed project but are not reimbursable. Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

  • are essential to your project's success;
  • are eligible and would otherwise have to be purchased or paid for by you;
  • can be measured at fair market value (i.e. in relation to similar goods and services); and
  • are balanced by an equal revenue in your budget (i.e. total in-kind expenses equal total in-kind revenues).

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.

Meeting the eligibility criteria 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 Commemorate Canada and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed:

100% of your total project-related costs.

For grants, the maximum allowable expenses for plaques and monuments and for equipment rentals is $10,000.

Applying for 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 before completing your application.

Contact Commemorate Canada to request an application package.

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 and the following supporting documents:

  • a project budget;
  • an Environmental Assessment (if applicable);
  • the Delegation of Signing Authority form completed or acceptable alternate documentation;
  • the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service of Canada and Lobbyists Registration Act form completed;
  • the Event Liability Waiver completed;
  • minutes of the most recent annual general meeting (if applicable);
  • copy of the letters patent or incorporating document for newly incorporated applicants (repeat applicants are not required to resubmit, unless their status has changed);
  • copy of the constitution and by-laws of your organization (if applicable);
  • signed financial statements from the previous fiscal year;
  • confirmation of financial and/or in-kind support from other sources; and
  • proof of liability insurance (if applicable).

Application process

  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form;
  • Attach all the required supporting documents; and
  • Submit your application through only one means (i.e. by email, by mail, in-person, etc.).

Email submissions

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

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.

Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage

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.

When prioritizing eligible applications, we will take into consideration:

  • National significance – describe how the subject matter has made an impact on our nation by having an important influence on national policy and/or on the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians. The subject matter must have contributed in a positive and/or significant way to the development of Canadian society;
  • Education and knowledge sharing potential – describe how the proposed project informs Canadians about our culture, identity and history;
  • Longevity and inclusivity – recognition and interest in the subject matter should have been sustained over an extended period of time and reflect the diverse interests of Canadians across Canada; and
  • Geographic reach – the subject matter should be relevant to more than one province or territory.

Commemorate Canada consults with relevant federal, provincial, and municipal entities to ensure that the proposed commemoration does not conflict or overlap with existing projects.

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

Your application will be evaluated based on the following:

  • the proposal contains all required information and is judged complete;
  • the applicant sufficiently demonstrates the capacity to carry out the project as proposed;
  • the extent to which a project enables Canadians to recognize Canada's diverse and exceptional figures, places and key events in the development of our nation;
  • how it enhances knowledge and understanding of the shared history and values of Canada; and
  • how it increases opportunities for Canadians to participate in commemorative activities and celebrations of national significance.

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 your application in our office.

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 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.

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 and 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.

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.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Commemorate Canada
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5



1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)

TTY (Teletypewriter)

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, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET (Eastern Time)).

Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage


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.
Arts and culture presentations, including theatre, dance, musical events, and historical re-enactments.
Equipment rental
Specialized equipment rental that is not permanently installed in a space. Examples for creation, production and/or presentation purposes include sound systems, lighting equipment, staging or rigging equipment, and multi-media equipment.
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 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.
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.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit 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.
Major Infrastructure
Permanent buildings, roads, bridges, water lines, harbours etc.
Official-language minority communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Third Party
A recipient of funds issued by the primary recipient of the contribution or grant.
Ultimate Recipients
An organization that has entered into an agreement with the original recipient to carry out the objectives of the original agreement. Recipients of such funds are held to the same standards as the original recipient.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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