Application Guidelines – Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

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Objectives and expected results for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

The objectives of the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) are to contribute to:

  • improved physical conditions for professional arts and heritage related collaboration, creation, presentation, preservation, and exhibition; and
  • increased and improved access for Canadians to arts and culture.

The CCSF achieves these objectives by supporting:

  • the construction and/or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, including creative hubs; and
  • the acquisition of specialized equipment and the development of feasibility studies for the construction or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, including creative hubs.

The expected results

  • Artists, creators and heritage practitioners have access to professional cultural facilities; and
  • A variety of arts and heritage experiences are available in a wide range of communities.

Ultimately, the long-term results of the CCSF will allow Canadians to value and access arts and heritage spaces in their community for creation, collaboration, presentation, preservation and exhibition.

Application deadline

There is no established deadline date to submit a funding application under the CCSF, as applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your organization must be:

  • A not-for-profit arts and/or heritage organization operating in a professional manner, incorporated under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, or under the equivalent provincial or territorial legislation. Applicants must demonstrate that they have been active in the execution of their arts and heritage mandate for at least the previous two years, and that their programming is accessible to all Canadians;
  • A not-for-profit organization, incorporated under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, or under the equivalent provincial or territorial legislation, that is proposing the development and management of a creative hub; or
  • A provincial/territorial government, a municipal administration, one of their agencies or an equivalent Indigenous peoples’ institution or organization that has historically demonstrated its support to professional artistic or heritage activities including Indigenous cultural practice in their community.

Your mission, letters patent, by-laws or other governance documents must clearly demonstrate how the applicant organization supports professional artistic, creative and/or heritage practices.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, your project must aim at:

  • the construction and/or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, or creative hubs;
  • the acquisition of specialized equipment; or
  • the development of feasibility studies for the construction or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, or creative hubs.

For a construction and/or renovation project, your organization must demonstrate that they own the property or they have a long term lease (minimum of 10 years).

The following projects are not eligible for support under the CCSF:

  • historic building renovations or restorations that are not directly linked to professional arts or heritage programming;
  • construction or renovations to the physical envelope of buildings not owned by you;
  • projects related to regular or routine maintenance of a building;
  • projects primarily involving space for worship or congregational purposes, cemeteries or tourism signage;
  • design or production of exhibition content or artistic works; and
  • purchase and installation of public art as part of a stand-alone project.

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value, are eligible; these may include administrative costs directly related to the project, including salaries, carrying costs, calls for tender, services to provide materials in both official languages, and project audit.

Construction or Renovation projects

  • Professional fees such as architectural, engineering and technical services, project management and environmental assessment;
  • Construction and/or renovation of cultural infrastructure, including:
    • Property acquisition and transfers;
    • Project’s interest on short-term financing;
    • Demolition and excavation;
    • Materials and labour;
  • Fire, safety and security systems;
  • Systems and measures to improve accessibility and mobility;
  • Environmental practices and sustainable construction (e.g. LEED, ecoENERGY);
  • Specialized equipment;
  • Permanent seating;
  • Purchase and installation of public art as part of construction or renovation project; and
  • CCSF Construction or Renovation Acknowledgement Signage (Required for Contributions over $100,000).

Specialized Equipment

  • Sound and lighting equipment;
  • Removable seating;
  • Stage curtains;
  • Staging and rigging equipment;
  • Multimedia equipment;
  • Portable dance floor;
  • Purchase and installation of an integrated data collecting and ticketing system;
  • Environmental control systems;
  • Storage system;
  • Exhibition cases, panels and interactive displays related to a permanent exhibition;
  • Installation costs and initial training related to the operation of specialized equipment;
  • Hanging system for exhibition; and
  • Hygrothermograph.

Feasibility Study

  • Professional fees related to the assessment of the viability of the project;
  • Professional fees related to the design, market analysis and resources required to operate the new or renovated site; and
  • Professional fees related to specialized technicians.

Non eligible expenses

The following expenses are not eligible for support under the CCSF. This list is not exhaustive:

Construction or Renovation projects

  • Restoration and refurbishment of artefacts/collections;
  • Commissioning and purchasing of works of art;
  • Landscaping;
  • Parking lots;
  • Gift shops;
  • Commercial beverage and food facilities; and
  • Long-term accrued interest on financing.

Specialized Equipment

  • Musical instruments and cases;
  • Office equipment, furniture and computers dedicated to administrative tasks;
  • Administrative systems; and
  • Equipment for commercial beverage and food facilities or gift shops.

Costs related to the development of the project proposal and/or applications are not eligible.

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.

Eligibility

We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

The CCSF is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application 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, other levels of government, or other federal institutions.

The total financial assistance received from the CCSF and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of your total project-related costs.

The CCSF cannot recommend your project for approval before two-thirds of the total funding required has been confirmed. This calculation takes into consideration the CCSF recommended amount.

The Program’s support for an individual project is limited to 50% of total eligible expenses. Maximum contribution amounts are set per type of project.

  • The maximum contribution payable for an individual construction or renovation project is $15,000,000 or 50% of total eligible project costs, whichever is less.
  • The maximum contribution payable for an individual project in respect to the purchase or rental of specialized equipment is $5,000,000 or 50% of total eligible project costs, whichever is less.
  • The maximum contribution payable for an individual feasibility study is $500,000 or 50% of total eligible project costs; whichever is less.

In exceptional circumstances, we can fund up to 75% of eligible expenses per project. The specific funding criteria related to exceptional circumstances include:

  • projects occurring in rural or remote areas;
  • underserved communities and groups, such as:
    • official-language minority communities,
    • Indigenous communities,
    • ethnocultural communities; and
  • any other exceptional cases determined by us.

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. We encourage you to contact us before completing an 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 all supporting documents that are required for your organization and/or project type. Please refer to the Application Form checklists for the list of supporting documents.

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 nearest office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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.

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.

The assessment will be based on information provided in your application. We may request additional information for assessment purposes, which must be provided within ten business days.

Applications will be assessed according to the extent to which the proposed project is expected to contribute to Program objectives, and the extent to which it will address the needs of underserved communities and groups, such as official-language minority communities, Indigenous communities, and ethnocultural communities.

As part of the project review of applications to CCSF, consultations may be undertaken with other federal departments or agencies, other provincial/territorial governments and municipal administrations as well as provincial/territorial arts boards or arts councils. In the context of these consultations, applicant information may be shared with these stakeholders.

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

We will evaluate your application based on the following criteria:

A. Availability and quality of spaces

  • Impact of your project on the number and/or capacity of available spaces at the local, regional and/or national level;
  • Impact of your project on physical conditions, including technological and safety features;
  • Impact of your project on working spaces for artists, staff and other users;
  • Benefits to other arts and heritage organizations at the local, regional and/or national level;
  • Creative hubs will also be assessed according to the degree to which they:
    • bring together professionals from a range of arts or heritage sectors and creative disciplines;
    • bring together a range of business models, such as not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and self-employed creative workers;
    • provide users with affordable shared space, equipment and amenities; and
    • provide users with opportunities for collaboration and/or professional development.

B. Access to professional arts and heritage experiences

  • Impact of your project on audience accessibility, including disabled access;
  • Impact of your project on your capacity to reach audiences, including underserved communities and groups;
  • Impact of your project on your capacity to enhance programming and increase access to underrepresented disciplines;
  • Creative hubs will also be assessed according to the degree to which they provide public access space and programming.

C. Viability of project and long-term financial impact on your organization

  • Organizational management capacity, ability to manage the project effectively, history of your organization, including capacity to submit reports in a timely fashion;
  • Past and present financial situation of your organization and confirmation of other sources of revenues for the project; and
  • Ability to manage the financial impact of the project on long-term operations e.g. increased maintenance costs, additional staff requirements.

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 funding 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.

Diversity and inclusion

It is expected that all activities undertaken as part of funded projects will take into consideration the needs of diverse Canadians, including but not limited to Indigenous Peoples, Canadians of various faiths, cultures, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities.

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.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5

Email

Please contact the nearest office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Telephone

819-997-0055
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)

TTY

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).

Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Glossary

Arts organization (operating in a professional manner)
  • A not-for-profit organization that creates, produces and/or presents works in dance, theatre, music, visual arts or media arts where the majority of activities undertaken include professional artists who are remunerated for their work.* Such organizations may include performing arts companies, artist run centres, arts festivals and other presenters;
  • A not-for-profit organization which develops and manages multi-tenant facilities for the creation, production and /or the presentation of artistic works; and
  • A national arts training institution that has a significant impact upon training for a professional career in the above-noted artistic disciplines which is not funded as a provincial post-secondary education activity.

*Under exceptional circumstances, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund may consider providing support to an organization where less than a majority of activities undertaken include professional artists who are remunerated for their work. Exceptional circumstances will be determined by the CCSF and may include organizations located in rural or remote areas or targeting underserved communities and groups, such as official-language minority communities, Indigenous communities and ethnocultural communities.

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.
Creative Hub
A creative hub is a multi-tenant facility which brings together professionals from a range of arts or heritage sectors and creative disciplines. Creative hubs feature diverse business models, such as not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and self-employed creative workers. Creative hubs provide multiple users with shared space, equipment and amenities; opportunities for idea exchange, collaboration and/or professional development; and offer space and programming that is accessible to the public.
Creative Disciplines
In the context of a creative hub, creative disciplines include but are not limited to architecture; crafts; product, graphic and fashion design; Interactive digital media; film, television, video, radio and photography; publishing; music.
Cultural space
A physical space where Canadians gather collectively to experience arts or heritage related activities.
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.
Feasibility study
Report conducted in advance of a project to determine the likelihood of the project’s success. It is prepared by an independent consultant, architect and/or engineer or other specialist.
Federal lands

(a) lands that belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada, or that Her Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above those lands, other than lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut;

(b) the following lands and areas: (i) the internal waters of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province, (ii) the territorial sea of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province, (iii) the exclusive economic zone of Canada, and (iv) the continental shelf of Canada; and

(c) reserves, surrendered lands and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band and that are subject to the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves or lands.

The following resources may help you determine if the site of your activities is on federal land.

Treasury Board Secretariat directory

Parks Canada directory

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.
Heritage organization (operating in a professional manner)

Incorporated not-for-profit Canadian organizations with a mandate and key policies related to the collection, preservation, interpretation, research and study, and/or the exhibition of cultural collections which are regularly open to the public.

The following are recognized as heritage organizations: museums, art galleries, archives, botanical gardens, aquariums, insectariums, zoos, biodomes, science and interpretation centres, planetariums and archaeological, historical and ethnographic sites.

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.

Official-Language Minority Communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Professional fees
Money paid to a resource person, a consultant or a provider of professional services such as those related to architectural or engineering designs, environmental assessments, project management or financial audits.
Public Art
An original work of art which is permanently installed in a public place, and is accessible to the public free of charge.
Short-term financing
A loan obtained by your organization to cover immediate costs incurred by the acquisition or construction and/or renovation of the cultural or historical infrastructure until your organization takes possession of the infrastructure.
Sustainable construction
Environmentally sensitive construction methods that promote a more efficient use of resources.
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