Support for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients during the COVID-19 pandemic

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As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage and sport sectors. This page provides information on Canadian Heritage funding support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Support measures

Emergency support

Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations
  • The $500 million Emergency Support Fund is an additional temporary relief measure created to help alleviate the financial pressures of cultural, heritage and sport organizations facing significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Fund will help maintain jobs and support business continuity for organizations whose viability has been negatively impacted.

Learn more about the Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

Arts and media

New Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures
  • The Government of Canada is taking action to support our publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts will help ensure Canadians can continue to get reliable news and information related to COVID-19, so they can make the right decisions to stay healthy and safe.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency confirmed that the Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is now in place.
  • The role of the board is to make recommendations to the Canada Revenue Agency on whether a journalism organization meets certain criteria to receive the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO) designation.
  • The Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization designation is one of the prerequisites organizations must meet to take advantage of the new tax measures. The tax measures were introduced in Budget 2019.

More information

Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund
  • The Government of Canada is taking action to support our publishing and news sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts will help ensure Canadians can continue to get reliable news and information related to COVID-19, so they can make the right decisions to stay healthy and safe.
  • The Department of Canadian Heritage is working to simplify the process for submitting and processing requests for 2020–21 funding 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 to better explain the simplified approach for 2020-21.

More information

Combatting false and misleading COVID-19 information
  • The Government of Canada is investing $3 million in several organizations through the Digital Citizen Initiative’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program.
  • The funding will help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that are often the result.
  • This support will help fund activities, such as public awareness tools and online workshops, to help Canadians become more resilient and think critically about COVID-19 disinformation.

More information

General

COVID-19: Support for culture, heritage and sport sectors

More information

More information about impacts on Canadian Heritage grants and contributions programs

Introduction

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.

Funding activities being cancelled or postponed

The impact of funding activities being cancelled or postponed can vary depending on the funding program, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your program representative at Canadian Heritage to discuss further options.

Determining if funded projects or events are impacted

If your funded project involves gathering people together, like a concert, sporting event, festival, or conference, you should visit the Government of Canada information page on Coronavirus to understand the public health risks and the Public Health Agency of Canada’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.

What to do if funded activities are impacted

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.

Disbursements and cancelled funded activities

If you have received funding for planning a meeting, event or conference, you should consult the Government of Canada information page on Coronavirus to understand the public health risks and the Public Health Agency of Canada’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, the cancellation policies for vendors or participants.

Other measures could be put in place, such as:

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.

Funding process for approved funding activities that have been cancelled

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.

Funding for approved activities that will require a change to their programming

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.

New funding applications

The Department of Canadian Heritage will continue to accept and process 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.

Support measures for processing payments and funding requests

Canadian Heritage is 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.

Application deadlines

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.

Canadian Heritage funding programs

You can find information about all Canadian Heritage funding programs by consulting the online list of funding programs.

Celebrate Canada program

Every year, Canadian Heritage provides funding for activities organized on National Indigenous Peoples Day, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day and Canada Day. In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as various provincial and local directives on organized public events and social gatherings, the program is exploring ways to provide funding recipients with added flexibility. The program will be communicating with recipients shortly to explain the different options available to them this year.

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