Application guidelines – Movable Cultural Property Grants

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Part I: Introduction

Movable Cultural Property grants may be awarded by the Minister of Canadian Heritage under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. This application guide provides an overview of Movable Cultural Property Grants and assists in completing the application form.

1.1 The Cultural Property Export and Import Act

The Cultural Property Export and Import Act encourages and ensures the preservation of significant examples of our artistic, historic and scientific heritage in Canada. The Act contains incentives to encourage Canadians to donate or sell significant objects to organizations designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Designated organizations have demonstrated the capacity to preserve cultural property over the long term and to exhibit or otherwise make cultural property available to the public.

Movable Cultural Property Grants may be awarded to assist designated organizations with the purchase of cultural property that meet the eligibility criteria. The Act also contains provisions to control the export and import of cultural property in order to prevent illicit traffic in cultural property.

1.2 Purpose

Movable Cultural Property Grants provide financial assistance to designated organizations seeking to acquire cultural property that meet the conditions specified in the Section 35 of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act:

The Minister may, out of moneys appropriated by Parliament for such purposes, make grants and loans to institutions and public authorities in Canada for the purchase of objects in respect of which export permits have been refused under the Act or for the purchase of cultural property situated outside Canada that is related to the national heritage.

Applications to finance objects already purchased by a designated organization will not be accepted.

1.3 Eligibility

Both the cultural property and the institution must be eligible in order to qualify for a Movable Cultural Property Grant.

In order to be eligible for a movable cultural property grant, the cultural property must be either:

  • the subject of a refused cultural property export permit for which an export delay period has been established by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board; or,
  • located outside of Canada and available for sale on the international market. These objects must have a strong association with the national heritage but are not necessarily Canadian in origin.

In addition the applicant must be an institution or public authority in Canada that has been "designated" by the Minister of Canadian Heritage under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

Institutions and public authorities that are not already designated may submit an application for designation with their application for a Movable Cultural Property Grant. Organizations seeking to acquire cultural property for which they are not already designated must submit a Category “B” designation application with the grant application. Please contact the Movable Cultural Property Program for more information on the requirements for designation.

1.4 Application forms

To obtain an application form, please contact the Movable Cultural Property Program.

1.5 Deadlines

Movable Cultural Property Grants may be submitted throughout the year. However grant applications submitted at the end of the fiscal year (between February 15 and March 31) will be accepted only when exceptional circumstances are justified (e.g. auction sales or the cultural property is extraordinary). 

For applicants requesting approval of funds to bid at auction, the request must be made as early as possible to allow the application to be processed in advance of the auction. The program will make every effort to process applications submitted up to 10 days before the auction, but applications submitted on short notice may not obtain a decision before the auction date.

1.6 Service standards

Canadian Heritage has set service standards for timely acknowledgement of receipt of application, funding decision and payment processes. Movable Cultural Property grants have the following service standards:

Acknowledgement: Applications are acknowledged within 15 calendar days.

Decision: Written notification of the funding decision should be made within 13 weeks from the date a complete grant application is received. Processing of applications will not begin until the application is complete.

Payment: Payment should be sent within 28 calendar days of the grant awards letter.

1.7 Assessment criteria

Applications for Movable Cultural Property grants will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • the importance of the object to Canada’s national heritage;
  • how the acquisition of the object will benefit Canadians;
  • how the object enhances the collection or mandate of the designated organization;
  • whether the designated organization will obtain clear title to the object;
  • justification of the proposed purchase price to ensure it is the lowest fair price possible; and
  • the financial ability of the designated organization to contribute to the purchase.

The criteria, and the supporting documentation required, will be explained in detail in Part II.

1.8 Negotiating a fair price (Negotiated purchases only)

Applicants should note that where the cultural property is the subject of an export delay period established by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, the value appearing on the export permit is not necessarily fixed. The applicant is encouraged to negotiate a purchase price based on its own market research. 

In addition, if the vendor is a Canadian taxpayer, applicants are encouraged to offer to make an application to the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board to have the property in question certified so that the vendor would be exempt from paying taxes on the capital gain realized by the sale of the cultural property to your organization.

Once a reasonable purchase price has been established, the applicant is expected to contribute funds from its own budget and/or raise funds from other sources before applying for a Movable Cultural Property Grant.

1.9 Funding

Applicants are encouraged to contribute 50% or more towards the purchase of the object. Applications seeking up to 100% of the purchase will only be considered when exceptional circumstances are justified. Exceptional circumstances are determined by Canadian Heritage, and may pertain to the significance of the object, and where a financial need is clearly demonstrated and justified. In all applications, public private partnerships are encouraged. Applicants are expected to seek contributions from private sector sources, other levels of government, or other funding sources before applying for a Movable Cultural Property grant.

Funding is eligible solely towards the purchase price of the cultural property. When the cultural property is purchased through an auction house, the eligible funding includes the hammer price and the buyer’s premium.

The following expenditures are not eligible and must not be included in the funding request: applicable taxes, shipping, packing, crating, recovery, insurance, conservation, storage, research and display.

1.9.1 Funding for auctions

If a grant is awarded, and the cultural property is successfully purchased at auction, the applicant is obliged to contribute its total financial commitment as identified on the application form.

A movable cultural property grant will equal the amount remaining which exceeds the applicant’s financial commitment, but only up to the amount approved by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

If the final auction price (hammer price plus buyer’s premium) exceeds the total commitment (applicant financial commitment plus amount of grant approved by Minister), and the applicant is unsuccessful at auction, no grant money will be awarded. See Line 1 in the Example for Auctions table below.

If the final auction price is less than the applicant’s financial commitment, no grant money will be awarded. See Line 4 in the Example for Auctions table below.

Example for auctions:
  Applicant financial commitmentAmount of grant approved by MinisterAuction sale price (hammer price and buyer’s premium)Amount of grant funding awarded
1 $20,000 Up to $20,000 $90,000 $0
2 $20,000 Up to $20,000 $40,000 $20,000
3 $20,000 Up to $20,000 $35,000 $15,000
4 $20,000 Up to $20,000 $15,000 $0

1.10 Overpayment

Where the full amount of the grant is not used (e.g. where payment is made in a foreign currency and the total purchase price in Canadian dollars turns out to be less than the amount cited in the grant application, due to a fluctuation in the exchange rate), the unused amount must be refunded to the Receiver General for Canada.

1.11 Conditions

The decision of the Minister of Canadian Heritage is final and not subject to review or appeal.

Any action prior to receiving written notification about the success of the application, such as bidding at auction, is undertaken at the applicant’s own risk.

When a Movable Cultural Property Grant is awarded, the organization receiving the grant agrees to:

  • provide documentation which demonstrates the purchase of the cultural property and the amount paid within 6 months of the date the grant was awarded. Proof of purchase may include a copy of the cancelled cheque or other bank document that establishes payment by the institution. Copies of invoices or statements marked “PAID” will not be accepted as proof of payment. Failure to provide a proof of payment may result in action to recover the funds awarded.
  • provide documentation that the credit line used on exhibition labels, publications, finding aids, websites and social media publically acknowledges the financial assistance of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Organizations should consult the Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support for further information.

Organizations which acquire an object with the assistance of a Movable Cultural Property grant are expected to retain the object for the benefit of Canadians. Permanent disposal of the object within 10 years of purchase may result in the rejection of future applications, unless the object is transferred to another organization designated Category “A” under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

1.12 Contact us

Applicants for Movable Cultural Property Grants are encouraged to contact the Movable Cultural Property Program for inquiries.

Movable Cultural Property Program
25 Eddy Street, (25-9-N)
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5
Phone:
(819)-997-7761
Toll-free:
1-866-811-0055
Fax:
(819)-997-7757
Email
pch.bcm-mcp.pch@canada.ca

Part II: Application guidance

This section offers step-by-step guidance to complete a movable cultural property grant application form.

Please note that processing of applications will not begin until the application is complete.

Part A: Applicant information

Fields 1 to 6 - Provide the name of the designated organization and its complete mailing address.

Fields 7 to 14 - Provide the name and contact information of the Director or Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This individual must sign the Declaration in Part K.

Fields 15 to 23 - Provide the name and contact information for the main contact person, if it is not the Director or CEO. This person is usually the individual who is responsible for the acquisition and is most knowledgeable about the cultural property.

Part B: Eligibility

Fields 24 to 26 - Select the appropriate eligibility category of cultural property that is the subject of the application. Cultural property is a repatriation if it was once in Canada, but left the country at some point in time. Cultural property is a patriation if the object was created outside of Canada and has never been in Canada. For cultural property subject to an export delay period, indicate the appeal number and the expiry date of the export delay period.

Fields 27 to 30 - Select the appropriate designation status for the organization. For Category A, identify the date of designation and the groups for which the institution is designated. For Category “B” designation, include the date the designation application was submitted.

Part C: Cultural property

Field 31 - Provide a detailed description of the cultural property that is the subject of the application. The description should include the following details, as applicable:

  • i) creator/fabricator
  • ii) title/description of object or collection
  • iii) date(s) of creation
  • iv) medium, i.e. material(s) used to create/fabricate the object/collection
  • v) edition number, where applicable
  • vi) dimensions
  • vii) signature/inscriptions, where applicable

Attach a good quality image of the cultural property.

Field 32 - Provide a 1-2 paragraph summary of any research concerning the authentication of the cultural property. The summary should include details regarding qualified persons who have been consulted about the cultural property or who have been involved in inspecting, researching, and assessing it. 

Attach copies of any supporting documentation.

Field 33 - Provide a 1-2 paragraph description of the condition of the cultural property. Include information about any conservation that has been carried out on the object or conservation that would be required once purchased. If conservation is required after purchase, please explain your level of commitment to undertaking the required conservation treatment.

Attach copies of any condition reports that have been prepared.

Field 34 - Provide a 1-2 page justification explaining the importance of the cultural property to Canada’s heritage. Please consider the following elements of outstanding significance in developing the essay: Whether the object is of outstanding significance by reason of its close association with Canadian history or national life; its aesthetic qualities or its value in the study of the arts or sciences. Factors such as provenance, condition, rarity, authenticity, research value and regional importance may support its significance as cultural property.

Field 35 - Provide a 1-2 page justification explaining the importance of the cultural property to Canada’s heritage. Please consider the following elements of outstanding significance in developing the essay: Whether the object is of outstanding significance by reason of its close association with Canadian history or national life; its aesthetic qualities or its value in the study of the arts or sciences. Factors such as provenance, condition, rarity, authenticity, research value and regional importance may support its significance as cultural property.

Applicants should refer to the guidelines for Writing an Effective Outstanding Significance and National Importance Justification (PDF , 513 KB) for additional information on how to justify the importance of the object to Canada.

Attach the justification to the application form.

Fields 36 to 37 - Identify whether similar examples exist in the organization’s collection or in other Canadian public collections. The applicant should consult Artefacts Canada and other public databases to verify their information. If similar examples already exist in Canadian public collections, provide a justification as to why it is important to acquire the cultural property.

Field 38 - Explain how the cultural property is of importance to your particular collection or acquisition mandate. How will acquiring the cultural property contribute to the collection?

Field 39 - Describe how the cultural property will be made accessible to the public. Applicants should indicate if the cultural property will be on permanent or temporary exhibit, if it will be part of a touring exhibit or available for research, if it will be featured in a publication, your organization’s website or other website, or otherwise made accessible to the public.

Field 40 - Provide attendance figures (if applicable) for your organization.

Part D: Title

Fields 41 to 42 - If the applicant will not obtain clear title to the cultural property, provide an explanation of the situation, and the measures in place to minimize risk to the organization.

Part E: Funding request

Field 43 - Indicate the amount of the grant requested in Canadian dollars.

Field 44 - Indicate the amount the applicant proposes to contribute to the purchase. This amount should include the total contributed from acquisition budgets, income trusts, endowment funds, foundations, public or private subscriptions, etc.

Field 45 - Indicate the total amount to purchase the cultural property. This total should equal the negotiated purchase price, the estimated auction value or the accepted Fair Cash Offer price.

Part F: Financial information

Field 46 - Indicate the total funds available to the organization for the purchase of cultural property for the fiscal year (e.g. acquisition budgets, income trusts, foundations, endowment funds, and other funds managed by the organization).

Attach the most recent audited financial statements AND an up-to-date budget statement which reflects the available funds and commitments.

Field 47 - Indicate the acquisition budget for your organization.

Field 48 - Indicate the amount of available funds already spent or committed by the organization.

Field 49 - If sufficient funds are available within your organization to assist with the purchase of the cultural property, but they have not been committed to this purchase, please explain. (if applicable)

Field 50 - Identify other sources of funding approached to support the purchase of cultural property.

Fields 51 to 52 - Indicate the amount which has been raised in support of this purchase from other levels of government, private donors or other public sources.

Attach letters, e-mails or other statement which confirm the commitment to provide funding by the organization AND/OR external sources.

Part G: Price negotiations

Field 53 - Indicate if the proposed acquisition of the cultural property is a negotiated private sale, an auction sale, or a fair cash offer determination made by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Negotiated private sale

Field 54 - Indicate the negotiated purchase price in Canadian dollars.

Attach a copy of the vendor’s invoice or a letter from the vendor confirming the agreed purchase price, exclusive of taxes or other related expenditures.

Field 55 - Provide a 1-2 paragraph summary of the purchase negotiations. In the case of a purchase from a private individual or a dealer, the applicant should ensure that the lowest possible price has been negotiated.

The applicant must include evidence which demonstrates the proposed purchase price is reasonable and/or accurately reflects current market conditions. This evidence may include:

  • consultations with dealers
  • comparisons with prices realized at recent public and/or private sales of related objects (such as sales within the past 3 years)
  • any monetary appraisals that were considered or commissioned

Attach copies of the consultations/comparative research/appraisals to the application.

Fields 56 to 60 - Provide the name, address, telephone and e-mail (if known) for the owner of the cultural property.

Auction sale

Fields 61 to 63 - Provide the name of the auction house, city and country.

Fields 64 to 65 - Provide the date of the auction and the lot number(s).

Fields 66 to 70 - If known, provide the name, address, telephone and e-mail for the owner of the cultural property which is available for sale at auction.

Fields 71 to 73 - Provide the pre-sale estimate as provided in the auction catalogue, the buyer’s premium and the total cost estimate in the original currency.

Fields 74 to 76 - Convert the pre-sale estimate, the buyer’s premium and the total estimated cost to Canadian dollars

Fields 77 to 78 - Identify the conversion rate the date of the conversion was calculated.

Fields 79 - If applicable, justify a request for a grant that is higher than the auction estimate. If there is recent market evidence that the actual purchase price may exceed the auction pre-sale estimate, the applicant must provide documentation to justify the higher request. This documentation may include:

  • consultations with knowledgeable experts/dealers;
  • comparisons with prices realized at recent public auctions of related objects within the past 3 years.

Attach copies of the consultations/comparative research to the application.

Fair cash offer determination

Field 80 - In situations where an export delay period has been established, and where an offer made by the applicant is not accepted, either party may ask the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board to determine the amount of a fair cash offer to purchase. This request can be made by either party, in writing, no less than 30 days before the end of the export delay period. If the Review Board has determined a fair cash offer, indicate the price as determined by the Review Board.

Fields 81 to 82 - Indicate if your organization and the vendor have agreed to this price. If not, provide an explanation.

Fields 83 to 87 - Provide the name, address, telephone and e-mail (if known) for the owner of the cultural property.

Part H: Prior funding history

Field 88 - Indicate if your organization has been awarded a Movable Cultural Property Grant within the last 10 years.

Field 89 - If yes, indicate if any or all of the cultural property acquired is still part of the permanent collection of the organization.

Field 90 - If no, identify the de-accessioned object(s) and provide a 1-2 paragraph explanation as to why it was de-accessioned. Indicate if the object was transferred to another Category “A” designated organization, to another public organization, or to a private organization.

Part I: Checklist

Field 91 - Attach required documentation to complete your application.

Part J: Declaration

Fields 92 to 95 - The declaration of the Director or CEO must be signed by the individual identified in Part A, fields 8 and 9 of the application.

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