Application guidelines – Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Celebration and Commemoration Program
Funding status: Closed
Please note: The application intake is now closed. For further information on other funding opportunities, please visit: Funding – Culture, history and sport.
On this page
- Objectives for the Celebration and Commemoration Program
- Objectives and expected results for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation component
- Application deadline
- Who can apply
- Eligible projects
- Eligible expenses
- Limits of government assistance
- How to apply
- Application process
- How applications are evaluated
- Evaluation Criteria
- Application processing time
- Funding decisions
- How funding is provided
- Funding conditions
- Workplace well-being
- Public Health Guidance
- Official languages requirements
- Acknowledgement of financial assistance
- Impact Assessment Act
- Access to information requests
- Disclosure of information
- Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program
- Contact us
Objectives for the 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 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation component
This funding, available through the Celebration and Commemoration Program, will provide up to a maximum of $10,000 in funding to eligible recipients to support initiatives that will:
- increase awareness and commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30) and/or the history and legacy of Residential Schools; or
- honour children who did not return home, Residential Schools Survivors, their families and communities; or
- provide an opportunity for Survivors, families and communities to share their stories and advance inter-generational healing and reconciliation.
The application intake is now closed.
Who can apply
To be eligible for funding, your organization must be:
- an Indigenous government, band council, or tribal council, or its delegated authority;
- an Indigenous not-for-profit organization or group;
- a for-profit Indigenous organization, provided that the project for which you are requesting funding will not result in income generation for your sole benefit;
- an Indigenous ad hoc committee that has formed for a specific project;
- an Indigenous-led institution including accredited programs; or
- in exceptional circumstances to be approved by the program, a non-Indigenous organization, in close partnership with an Indigenous organization (Note: letters of support from Indigenous partner organizations are required).
In the case of partnerships, one organization must assume the lead role and responsibility for the overall management and coordination of the project.
The following are not eligible:
- private individuals and political parties; and
- federal departments, their institutions and portfolio agencies.
The Program is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.
The Program is highly competitive. Requests for funding may exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.
Funding is limited to one project per organization to allow the Program to fund as many different projects as possible.
To be eligible for funding from the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation component, your project must:
- demonstrate that it meets the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation objectives;
- take place on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), during the month of September or in the week following the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation;
- be free of charge (no admission fees or donation required for entry); and
- be open to the public.
Examples of eligible projects:
- community ceremonies;
- healing workshops, Elder, Survivor or Knowledge Keeper presentations;
- commemorative murals, cairns and plaques;
- educational and awareness materials, speaker series; and
- cultural and artistic initiatives.
The project must not be designed for fundraising purposes or generate commercial advantage or profit.
The following are non-eligible projects:
- regular or annual programming for health services or training;
- any projects where the primary purpose is skills development and not intended for the general public;
- activities on or for National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) or for National Indigenous Peoples History Month (June);
- projects related to research activities for burial locations (surveying, archeological work) and any projects that take place in cemeteries or gravesites;
- pow wows; and
- capital construction and major renovations.
For information regarding other possible sources of funding for these types of activities, please contact the Program.
Only project-related expenses are eligible. These may include:
- administrative expenses (i.e., salaries, mailing, printing, photocopying) - which may not exceed 15% of the total project contribution;
- artists and performers expenses;
- honoraria (i.e., Elders, knowledge keepers, speakers, etc.);
- salaries, fees and benefits related to project delivery or consultant – professional fees (i.e., project manager, researcher, educational and learning material development);
- planning and activity expenses (i.e., event venue and logistic expenses, supplies, equipment rental, etc.);
- promotional, marketing and communications expenses (including translation in English, French and Indigenous languages and signage);
- hospitality expenses (i.e., traditional food and beverages during ceremonies and events)Footnote 1; and
- travel fees (local transportation, accommodation and meals)Footnote 1.
Ineligible expenses 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 (e.g., regular community services or programs);
- fairs and festivals;
- prizes and awards; 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 April 1, 2023.
Please note that if you incur expenses for your project between April 1, 2023 and 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 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation component and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of your total project-related costs.
Maximum funding is $10,000 per project.
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 and the following supporting documents:
- completed and signed application form (parts A, B, C, and D);
- proof of legal status, which can include letters patent, incorporation documents (when required);
- Direct Deposit Form (if you have not yet completed one, or if your information has changed – Annex 1);
- delegation of Signing Authority or acceptable alternate documentation (part E); and
- unincorporated applicant acceptance of responsibility form (only in the case of an unincorporated group – part F).
- Complete, sign and date the Application form;
- Attach all the required supporting documents including banking information, letters of support and incorporation documents, if applicable; and
- Submit your application by email to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The email must be sent no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the deadline date to be eligible.
How applications are evaluated
The Program funds projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. A review committee will evaluate your application based on the criteria below, compare it with other applications and prioritize it in relation to the funds available.
Commemorate Canada consults with relevant 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.
Funding priority may be given to:
- activities taking place on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), during the month of September or in the week following the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation;
- projects submitted by Indigenous organizations, groups and communities;
- projects submitted by organizations that represent, serve and/or partner with First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups;
- projects representing diversity in geographic distribution; and
- diversity of project activities.
Your application will be evaluated based on the following:
- Eligibility: eligibility of applicant and eligibility of project activities;
- Project objectives: the project meets the objectives of the Program;
- Budget: the proposed budget expenses are eligible, reasonable and linked to the activities;
- Expected results: the proposed project will create opportunities for Canadians to participate in activities on or for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and / or help increase awareness and knowledge of the history and legacy of residential schools;
- Delivery: the applicant has the capacity to deliver the proposed project;
- Reach: number of expected participants; and
- Partnerships: for non-Indigenous organizations, the project demonstrates an established or existing relationship with an Indigenous organization, community or group.
Non-eligible activities will not be considered and the application will be rejected.
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.
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
The Program 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 agree to at the time of application will apply. At the end of your project, you will 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 financial and final activity/results report.
For grants, you will be required to submit a final activity/results report.
For contributions, you will be required to submit at least a final activity/results report and a final financial report. Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.
Where the Applicant fails to remain eligible or where there is a default under this Agreement, the Minister may reduce the funding level, suspend any payment, rescind this Agreement and immediately terminate any financial obligation arising out of it and recover any unexpended amount or any amount that the Applicant was not eligible or entitled to receive.
Departmental funding may be used only for the purposes specified in this application.
In signing the application form, the Applicant declares that they will undertake activities at the location(s) and on the date(s) described in part B of the application. Once the Department has approved financial assistance, no major changes 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 Applicant 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.
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.
Public Health Guidance
We expect that you will act in compliance with applicable statutes, laws, bylaws, regulations, orders, codes, standards, directives and guidelines governing the activities for which funding is being sought, including those related to public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Official languages requirements
While supporting efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages and to preserve and revitalize Indigenous cultures, the Department of Canadian Heritage is 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, when applicable.
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
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
Funding received, whether 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)]. 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.
For further information, please contact us:
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau QC K1A 0M5
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Equipment rental
- Specialized equipment rental that is not permanently installed in a space. Equipment for creation, production and/or presentation purposes include sound systems, lighting equipment, staging or rigging equipment, and multi-media equipment.
- Final activity and results report
- A final activity and results report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final activity and results report needs to provide a list of activities undertaken and the results of these activities for the duration of your project.
- Indigenous communities
- Indigenous communities are First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
- 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.
- An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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