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 of national interest in order to recognize significant aspects of Canada’s history.

Commemorate Canada objectives are to support activities that:

  • enable Canadians to recognize events, people, places, symbols, anniversaries, and accomplishments that have played a key role in Canadian history;
  • enhance knowledge and understanding of the shared history of Canada; and
  • increase opportunities to participate in various commemorative activities of national significance.

Application deadline

The application intake is now closed.

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


The Program is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

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

Who can apply

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

  • Canadian not-for-profit organization: corporation, trust, cooperative, or unincorporated association;
  • a Canadian for-profit organization (partnershipsNote 1*, trusts, joint ventures, etc.) whose proposed projects are non-commercial in nature;
  • a Canadian public education establishment; or
  • Canadian provincial/territorial, municipal government and their institutions.

In the case of redistribution of funds, the initial recipient must ensure that the final beneficiaries of the financial assistance meet the eligibility criteria set out in the guidelines.

The following are not eligible:

  • private individuals, and political parties; and
  • federal departments, their institutions and other portfolio agencies the federal government (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 Commemorate Canada, your project must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be conceived and take place in Canada;
  • relate to an anniversary of national significance;
  • highlight a 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th or subsequent anniversary in 25-year incrementsNote 2 **;
  • include an educational component;
  • be national in scope; and
  • be free and accessible to the public.

Additional requirements for projects involving monuments or commemorative plaques:

  • you must own the site or have an agreement for the use of the land.

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

If your project does not meet Commemorate Canada's requirements, please visit the Funding section of our website for other funding opportunities.

Eligible expenses

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

  • expenses related to education and outreach: educational and learning materials, documentation and research, website development, travelling and on-line exhibits, forums and conferences, plaques and monuments (up to a maximum of $10,000), etc.;
  • promotional, marketing and communications expenses (including translation);
  • consultant-professional fees related to the project: management, project coordination and implementation, professional services, etc.;
  • expenses related to events and venues: production costs, site and equipment rental, artists’ and performers’ fees, artisans and performers;
  • ongoing administrative costs related to the project (not exceeding 15% of the total contribution): salaries and benefits, administrative fees, bank and utilities charges; and
  • travel 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, such as expenses related to ongoing operations and your organization's operating costs;
  • 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.

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.

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.

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

A complete application package includes a complete and duly signed application form and the following supporting documents:

  • a project budget for each fiscal year of the project;
  • signed financial statements from the previous fiscal year;
  • a completed Direct Deposit Enrollment Request Form and a void chequeNote 3 ***;
  • a copy of the organization's letters patent or act of incorporation and by-laws in the case of new applicants;
  • a list of board members and your organization's most recent annual report (if applicable); and
  • letters of supports (if applicable).

Please contact Commemoration Canada for an application package.

Application process

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

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.

Your application must be postmarked or delivered in person by the published deadline in order to be considered.

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

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

Your application will be evaluated based on the following:

  • the funding application contains all the required information and is deemed complete;
  • the project meets Commemoration Canada's objectives, in both its impact and scope;
  • the anniversary and associated activities are relevant;
  • taking into account the activities, the budget is realistic and reasonable, and expenses are detailed;
  • revenue sources are diversified;
  • partnerships are relevant and confirmed.
  • the applicant demonstrates that it has the capacity to carry out the project as proposed;
  • the project will reach a wide audience in both official languages of Canada; and
  • the client’s track record.

The program will take into account the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion when evaluating and prioritizing projects.

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

We reserve the right to target our funding to specific projects. 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.

Canadian Heritage is committed to supporting efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages and the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous cultures.

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 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; 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
J8X 4B3


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. (Eastern Time).


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 Statement
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.
Charitable Organization
To be considered a charity, a non-profit organization must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency, which requires that it meet specific conditions of the Income Tax Act. Non-profit organizations are grouped into several categories, one of which is "charitable organizations".
In the context of grants and contributions administration, eligibility refers to whether the applicant meets specific requirements (set out in program terms and conditions) to qualify for funding. There are three types of eligibility requirements: applicant eligibility, project eligibility, and cost eligibility.
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. An ethnocultural community or group is defined by the shared characteristics unique to, and recognized by, that group. This includes characteristics such as cultural traditions, ancestry, language, national identity, and/or country of origin.

To the extent that religion is inextricably linked to the group's racial or cultural identity, it can also be recognized as a defining characteristic. In some cases, a group may view its common origin as pan-national, or it may be based on geographic region of origin.

Ethnocultural communities may or may not overlap with racialized communities (See definition of racialized communities).

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 Peoples

“Indigenous Peoples” is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants.

The Canadian Constitution recognizes 3 groups of Indigenous Peoples: Indians (legally speaking, but currently referred to as First Nations), Inuit and Métis. These are 3 distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

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.
Non-profit Organization, Not-for-profit Organization
An organization (incorporated or not) which is set up and operated exclusively for the purpose of achieving an objective, and not for financial gain.
Official-language minority communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Racialized communities
Communities of shared heritage who have been historically disadvantaged as a group and may experience discrimination based on colour, culture and/or race.

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