Application Guidelines – Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools
Celebration and Commemoration Program
On this page:
- Objectives for the Celebration and Commemoration Program
- Objectives and expected results for the Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools component
- Application deadlines
- Who can apply
- Eligible projects
- Eligible expenses
- Limits of government assistance
- Applying for more than 12 months
- 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
- 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 Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools component
This one-year funding initiative, available through the Celebration and Commemoration Program, will provide funding (up to a maximum of $50,000*) to eligible recipients to support initiatives that will:
- increase awareness and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools; or
- honour residential schools survivors, their families and communities.
Applications must be received by May 29, 2020.
*While funding requests are limited to $50,000, exceptions may apply for projects with a larger scope. Please contact the Commemorate Canada Program before submitting a funding application that will exceed the maximum allocation.
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:
- band and tribal councils, or other Indigenous (First Nation, Inuit or Métis) community groups, governments or equivalent organizations;
- educational institutions, friendships centres, public libraries and cultural centres;
- ad-hoc groups and unincorporated bodies;
- not-for-profit incorporated organizations or groups; or
- provincial / territorial / municipal governments or institutions.
The following are not eligible:
- private individuals, and political parties; and
- federal departments, their institutions and portfolio agencies.
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.
We are 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.
To be eligible for funding from the Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools component, your project must:
- increase awareness and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools;
- honour residential school 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.
Examples of eligible projects:
- healing circles and gardens, community meals, ceremonies;
- healing workshops, Elder presentations, speaker series;
- travelling exhibits and displays;
- commemorative walls, cairns and plaques;
- educational and awareness material; and
- cultural and artistic initiatives.
The project must not be designed for fundraising purposes or generate commercial advantage or profit.
Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value, are eligible. These may include:
- administration expenses (i.e. salaries, mailing, printing, photocopying) - which may not exceed 15% of the total project contribution;
- artists and performers expenses;
- arts and heritage expenses (i.e. design and planning fees, material/labour and installation costs);
- consultant-professional fees (i.e. speaker, project manager, research, educational and learning material development);
- event/venues expenses (i.e. venue and equipment rental, production costs);
- outreach expenses (i.e. lectures, workshops, travelling exhibits and tours);
- promotional, marketing and communications expenses (including translation and signage);
- hospitality expenses (i.e. traditional food and beverages during ceremonies and events)*; and
- travel fees (local transportation, accommodation and meals)*
*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 the deadline date. 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
The duration of your project cannot exceed 12 months and must be completed by March 31, 2021.
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;
- proof of legal status of your organization;
- copy of the letters patent or incorporating documents, or
- in the case of an unincorporated group, the Unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Responsibility Form is completed (part of the Application Form)
- the Delegation of Signing Authority form completed or acceptable alternate documentation (part of the Application Form);
- direct deposit enrollment request form (part of the Application Form);
- the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service of Canada and Lobbyists Registration Act form completed (if applicable) (details provided in the Application Form);
- the Event Liability Waiver completed (if applicable) (details provided in the Application Form);
- confirmation of financial and/or in-kind support from other sources (if applicable); and
- proof of liability insurance (if applicable).
- 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.).
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 hand-delivered no later than the published deadline to be considered.
We encourage you to submit your application package electronically to the following email address:
The email must be “sent” no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your application to be considered.
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.
Funding priority may be given to:
- Indigenous organizations and groups; and
- funding applications of $50,000 and under.
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.
Your application will be evaluated based on the following:
- Eligibility: eligibility of applicant and eligibility of project activities;
- Project objectives: project objectives are aligned with the component’s objectives, are specific and clear;
- Budget: the proposed budget expenses are eligible, reasonable and linked to the activities;
- Collaboration/support from the community: the community supports the proposed project (letter of support provided);
- Expected results: the proposed project will create opportunities for Canadians to participate in activities that will help to advance reconciliation and/or increase awareness and knowledge of the history and legacy of residential schools;
- Delivery: the applicant has the capacity to deliver the proposed project.
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.
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 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.
You may be required to submit interim reports during your project and a final report is required if the funding is a contribution.
Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.
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.
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
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.
For further information, please contact us:
Department of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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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