Information for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients related to COVID-19

In light of current events, particularly the recent cancellations of cultural and sporting events, the Department of Canadian Heritage would like to reaffirm the government’s support for all the people affected, directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus.

We know that times like these can be particularly difficult for self-employed creative workers, community organizations, and sports and cultural organizations, among many others.

Canadian Heritage also has everything in place to ensure the health and safety of its personnel. As a result, our workforce is currently reduced and our service standards will be affected. However, everyone is committed to providing details as quickly as possible to affected beneficiaries.

We encourage everyone to follow the guidance provided by Canada’s public health authorities in order to make informed decisions about travel and to stay healthy.

For updates on COVID-19, consult the Government of Canada information page.

We are available by phone and by email

If you are unable to reach us through the toll-free line (1-866-811-0055), please dial 819-997-0055, or send us an email at PCH.info-info.PCH@canada.ca. Client Service Officers are standing by to assist you.

News

Frequently asked questions

Question: My funded activities are being cancelled or postponed. How does this impact my funding?

Answer: Each situation is unique, varies depending on the funding program, and will therefore be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your program representative at Canadian Heritage to discuss further options.

Question: How do I know if my Canadian Heritage funded project or event is impacted by COVID-19?

Answer: If your funded project involves gathering people together, like a concert, sporting event, festival, or conference, you should use the Public Health Agency of Canada’s risk assessment decision-making tool to understand the public health risks and the Agency’s recommendations on whether an in-person mass gathering should still be held. You should also check for any directives from the public health agency of your province, territory, and/or region, as well as any emergency orders in your city, region, province, or territory.

If your funded project involves travel, you should monitor the Government of Canada’s travel health notices before you leave.

Any cancellation or change fees for travel related initiatives are normally an eligible expense and approved funding can be used to cover those expenditures.

Question: What do I do if COVID-19 has required me to change, postpone, or cancel my funded activities?

Answer: Funding agreements for grants and contributions provide flexibility to adjust to situations where the original scope of activities need to be changed or, in some cases, where activities are cancelled entirely. For example, you could still receive all or a portion of your funding if the changes made to your activities still allow you to meet the expected results of your project. Each situation will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the obligations of the funding agreement. Please be reminded that, if your event is significantly changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are obligated to notify the Department of Canadian Heritage by email. Please contact your program representative to discuss further options.

Question: I have received funding for planning a meeting, event, or conference. What precautions should I take due to COVID-19?

Answer: If your event is not cancelled or postponed, your organization is responsible for deciding which precautionary measures are necessary and appropriate in terms of both organizing and attending events.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has posted a risk assessment decision-making tool to help public health authorities and event organizers determine the public health risks of mass gatherings.

You should also check for the following:

  • Directives from the public health agency of your province, territory, and/or region
  • Any emergency orders in your city, region, province, or territory
  • The cancellation policies for vendors or participants

Other measures could be put in place, such as:

  • Virtual meeting or events
  • Alternative plans, such as rescheduling your event to another time or changing the delivery format or model of your event

Clear communications for participants, such as: “Although you are invited to attend this event in person, due to the current circumstances, we invite you to join the meeting via an online platform. It is also possible that the meeting will be postponed. We will share the required details and any other information with you as soon as possible.” Your program representative will be able to support you in determining any changes that are required to your funding agreement as a result of a change in the activities for which funding was originally provided. The department is committed to working with stakeholders in the event of cancellation or postponement to ensure they continue to have access to their already approved funding for any expenditures they may have already incurred.

Question: Will approved funding activities (e.g. festivals, events, performing arts series, projects, operations) that have to be cancelled lose their funding from Canadian Heritage?

Answer: We will keep disbursing grants and contributions so that you can use the funding to cover eligible costs incurred. Each situation will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your program representative at Canadian Heritage to see how this may apply to you.

Question: What happens to the funding for approved activities that will be rescheduled or that will require a change to their programming?

Answer: Funding agreements for grants and contributions provide flexibility to adjust to situations that may cause the original scope of activities to change. For example, you could still receive all or a portion of your approved funding if the changes made still enable your event to meet the expected results of the project. Please contact your program representative at Canadian Heritage to discuss your specific case.

Question: Will Canadian Heritage continue to accept and process new funding applications?

Answer: Yes. The Department of Canadian Heritage will still accept new applications for future activities. We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that funding requests will be processed in a timely manner. Given the situation currently caused by COVID-19, departmental staff may need more time or additional information from you to process your request effectively. It is also possible that some deadlines for submission be extended for some programs.

Question: Following the announcement for the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Periodical Fund, can I expect that all Canadian Heritage programs will be ahead of their grants and contributions payments or put in place a simplified process for processing funding requests?

Answer: We are examining what measures can be implemented quickly to support the beneficiaries of all of its programs. We will keep you informed as soon as these measures are finalized.

We are working to establish a simplified process for submitting and processing 2020-21 funding requests for the Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund. The process will significantly reduce the time it takes to process files. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to access financial assistance much more quickly than usual.

The beneficiaries of these programs will be contacted in the coming days to better explain the simplified approach for 2020-21.

Question: Will deadlines to submit proposals to funding opportunities be extended?

Answer: The timelines for applying for funding to our programs may be extended. Please consult the list of funding programs where you can find information on the deadlines for applying.

Question: Where can I find information about the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan?

Answer: No one should have to choose between their health and their wallet. That is why the Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant, and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help support Canadians and businesses. This includes workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

To learn more, please see Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: