Application Guidelines – Canada-France Agreement
Museums Assistance Program
On this page:
- Objectives and expected results for the Museums Assistance Program
- Objectives and expected results for the Canada-France Agreement component
- Application deadline
- 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
- Access to information requests
- Disclosure of information
- Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program
- Contact us
Objectives and expected results for the Museums Assistance Program
The Museums Assistance Program (MAP) supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections in Canada. The Program provides financial assistance to Canadian museums and related institutions for activities that:
- facilitate Canadians’ access to our heritage;
- foster the preservation of Canada’s diverse and rich cultural heritage (other than built heritage), including representative collections of Indigenous cultural heritage; and
- foster professional knowledge, skills and practices related to key museum functions.
Expected results could include activities that achieve the:
- development and circulation of Canadian travelling exhibitions and associated interpretive material;
- preservation and presentation of Indigenous cultural heritage;
- implementation of key collections management systems; and
- sharing of best practices related to key museum functions, to the benefit of multiple institutions.
Objectives and expected results for the Canada-France Agreement
The Canada-France Agreement on Museum Cooperation and Exchanges component of the Museums Assistance Program (MAP) is a reciprocal agreement that aims at creating and developing special, lasting ties between museums in Canada and France, enhancing skills and competencies of museum professionals through the sharing of best practices, and optimizing the implementation of joint projects. It also assists Canadian organizations in developing new international partnerships and in reaching new potential audiences for Canadian heritage and collections.
Exchange missions where the objectives also further the development of official language minority communities will be given a priority for funding support.
When an application 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 an incorporated, non-profit Canadian museum which:
- provides services to the public year-round;
- employs the equivalent of at least one full-time paid professional staff;
- has policies for key museum functions; and
- has a current three to five-year strategic/business plan.
An incorporated, non-profit Canadian service organization that meets the requirements mentioned above (except for policies for key museum functions) and whose membership relates to the museum sector (e.g. museums associations).
We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.
The Canada-France Agreement component is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.
The following are examples of eligible cooperation and exchange projects under the Canada-France Agreement:
- exchange missions that promote professional development with respect to key museum functions (workshops, seminars, internships and learning opportunities);
- exchange missions that help forge special and lasting ties between Canadian and French museums (exchanges, structured work placements, joint activities, collaboration strategies, and partnerships for exhibition development);
- exchange missions that encourage experimentation, innovation, or the sharing of professional or technical expertise;
- research exchange missions on relevant heritage or museological themes (conservation, restauration, inventory, etc.); and
- research exchange missions on development and diversification of audiences.
Only the following items will be considered as eligible expenses: travel, accommodation, meal and incidental expenses as per Travel on government business directive, and incremental administration costs related to the mission.
Funding, in the form of grants, is provided by the Canadian Government to recipients to cover the cost of airline tickets for Canadian participants going to France, and accommodation, meals, incidentals and travel by French participants while in Canada. Travel by Canadians in Canada may also be considered. Expenses made by Canadians while in France are reimbursed by the French Government, following the completion of the project and upon submission of original receipts.
Ineligible projects and expenses include:
- projects and expenses related to the production, the presentation or the circulation of an exhibition;
- salaries and wages of participants; and
- costs related to participant’s attendance to professional development activities including travel.
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 application deadline. 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 the Canada-France Agreement component of the MAP and other levels of government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of your total project-related costs.
Project funding under the Canada-France Agreement component will not normally exceed 50% of eligible expenses incurred in Canada.
|Maximum funding per project||
|Maximum project duration||
2 calendar years (24 months)
In exceptional circumstances, we can fund up to 85% of eligible expenses per project. The specific funding criteria related to exceptional circumstances include:
- projects benefiting remote or rural areas; and
- projects targeting under-served communities and population (e.g. youth, official language minority communities, Indigenous, ethno-cultural communities) where need is clearly demonstrated and justified.
Applying for more than 12 months
You may request funding for the same activities for a number of fiscal years. You must show that you have the capacity to complete the planned activities on an annual basis. This is demonstrated with realistic results and budget projections as well as sound governance and continued financial viability.
How to apply
Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.
You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. To obtain application forms, please contact the nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
A complete application package includes the following completed documents, signed by an authorized person:
- the Application Form;
- the Project Budget Form;
- the Cooperation Agreement signed by both parties; and
- your supporting documents:
- copies of most recent documents as requested in the application checklist, including copies of all available quotes, to justify any procurement costs,
- your most recent financial statements (audited if available), and
- a disclosure regarding the participation of any former public office holder or public servant subject to the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.
Applications must be submitted in both countries: in Canada by the Canadian partner and in France by the French partner.
Where an applicant submits more than one project, an order of priority must be clearly indicated.
- 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 regional 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 nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
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 by a joint committee, formed by representatives of the Governments of France and Canada. Jointly recommended applications are then submitted for approval by each Government.
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 the rejection of your new application.
We will evaluate all eligible applications based on merit, Program priorities and availability of funds using the following criteria:
Relevance and community engagement
- your project helps achieve the organization’s mandate;
- your project responds to a demonstrated need;
- support/interest from other funders or partners is shown (documented if possible); and
- the target audience for your project and the methods to reach it (if applicable) are clearly identified and realistic.
Project planning and management
- your organization is able to carry out the project and has engaged appropriate experience and expertise (personnel and consultants);
- the timeline and resources are adequate; and
- sound project management methods are demonstrated, including risk management.
- the forecasted budget/cash flow is comprehensive;
- value for money is demonstrated, expenses are justified and reasonable; and
- all contributions are clearly identified and realistic (applicant, partners and other sources).
Impact and evaluation strategy
- outputs and outcomes are identified, clear and reasonable; and
- your application includes an articulated evaluation strategy that is linked to outcomes and outputs (indicators, data collection, etc.).
- financial stability is demonstrated; and
- your organization is professionally managed with clearly defined governance structure, administration and policies.
Your application will be evaluated by a review committee who will compare it with other eligible applications.
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.
We reserve the right to target our funding to specific projects. 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 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. If you receive $250,000 or more as a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report.
All products being presented to the public must be developed in both official languages. Applicants are also encouraged to develop exhibitions in other languages relevant to the project.
Additional conditions may apply and will, if applicable, 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 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.
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 the nearest regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage
orDepartment of Canadian Heritage
Museums Assistance Program – Canada-France Agreement
25 Eddy St
Gatineau QC J8X 4B5
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 p.m. (ET).
- Review of something (e.g. a process, an organization) in terms of compliance, accuracy and effectiveness, to determine whether it is working well and achieving its intended purpose.
- Audited financial report
- The audited financial report is prepared by professional accountants who are independent and shall clearly include all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred by the recipient for the given period with regard to the project.
- 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 auditing standards.
- Borrowing of artefact(s)
- Loan of one or more artefacts from any National museums of Canada collections.
- Built heritage
- Built heritage includes the sites, structures and monuments that are recognized for their historic significance. Federal built heritage consists mainly of heritage buildings and national historic sites. These include buildings, battlegrounds, forts, archaeological sites, canals and historic districts.
- 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.
- Canadian participant
- Paid professional employee from applicant organization or from Canadian organizations that are officially involved in the project (applies under Canada-France Agreement only).
- 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.
- Collections management system
- Collection management systems (CMS) are software programs designed to aid in the documentation and management of objects in a museum collection.
- Conceptual stage
- First phase of exhibition development where ideas are collected and compared with audience needs and organization's mission; the scope of the exhibition is determined (subject matter, primary thesis and main communication objectives); the projected audience is determined; the schedule is set; and potential or available resources are identified.
- Contemporary visual art exhibition
- Exhibition for which the principal focus is the contemporary art production of living artists, and for which less than 75% of the artefacts or the visual art works are drawn from public/private collections (other than the artist's collection); and less than 90% of the visual arts works or artefacts featured in the exhibition have been created more than 10 years prior to the date of application.
- Individuals or groups of individuals with specialized knowledge and/or skills. They are not part of an organization’s staff, management or board, but rather are contracted for a fee to provide specific services to an organization.
- Digital Content Development
- A process that creates, organizes, and edits digitized assets and other information together to produce and distribute digital content that will entertain, inspire, educate, and persuade audiences and that will help an institution meet its specific goals. Digital content is often delivered online and can be published using a variety digital programs, platforms, and channels, either as a single occurrence or simultaneously. Digital content opportunities are limited only by available technology and can include social media posts, virtual exhibitions, interactive media, collection portals, apps, games, immersive environments, and other digitally enabled experiences.
- The act of making a copy of or converting analogue information into a digital format. For example, digitization can occur by scanning 2D images or documents, or converting audio tape oral history recordings into digital formats. It can also refer to digitally photographing or 3D scanning objects, buildings, and natural features, or capturing a performance on video. Digitized outputs are often referred to as “digital assets”.
- Digitization Strategy
- A considered plan to guide the digitization of an institution’s analogue collections and assets, as well as the potential use and preservation of the digital assets once created. Its scope can be broad, encompassing an institution’s entire asset base, or it can be concentrated, focusing on one particular department, collection or aspect of a collection. The strategy outlines the goals for digitization and provides direction on what collections and assets should be prioritized for conversion, as well as what digital format(s) they should take. Digitization priorities are typically influenced by public interest, uniqueness/opportunity, object condition, and institutional need (e.g. for exhibitions, programs, online content, etc.), as well as other considerations for rights and permissions, and financial and technical feasibility. Some strategies may also include a detailed action plan for how the organization will execute this work, including any resources (i.e. people, equipment, budget, timelines, policies, etc.), operational changes or investments necessary.
- Documents related to the exhibition and made available to the public, such as exhibition catalogues, synopsis, brochures and pamphlets.
- Emergency assistance
- Financial assistance provided to help an institution undertake urgent remedial action to maintain the integrity of its collection and mitigate damage sustained following a natural disaster (e.g. forest fire, flood, earthquake).
- Ethnocultural communities
- A group of people whose members identify with each other through a common heritage. An ethnocultural community or group is defined by the shared characteristics unique to, and recognized by, that group. This includes characteristics such as cultural traditions, ancestry, language, national identity, and/or country of origin.
To the extent that religion is inextricably linked to the group's racial or cultural identity, it can also be recognized as a defining characteristic. In some cases, a group may view its common origin as pan-national, or it may be based on geographic region of origin. Ethnocultural communities may or may not overlap with racialized communities (See definition of racialized communities).
- Evaluation strategy
- Selection, development and ongoing use of performance measures to make judgments about relevance, progress, cost-effectiveness and success of a project in meeting its defined objectives. A strategy should include outputs, outcomes, definitions of what will be measured, data sources, methodologies for gathering data and other relevant information. Please refer to Reporting requirements and Evaluation criteria section.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In-kind contribution
A real contribution to the cost of the proposed project, but is not reimbursable as no monies change hands. Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contribution if:
- They are essential to project’s success;
- They would otherwise have to be purchased or paid for by the funding recipient;
- They can be measured at fair market value (i.e., in relation to similar goods and services); and
- They are balanced by an equal expense in the project budget
- Incremental administration costs
- Costs which organizations would not incur other than to comply with project administrative requirements. These costs may include expenses for material or other items associated with the provision of goods or services. Maximum 15% of the total project cost (e.g. book keeping, project accounting, long distance calls, ink cartridges, temporary subscriptions to publications or specialized services).
- Indigenous organizations
- Non-profit Canadian organizations with a mandate to preserve and support Indigenous heritage.
- Indigenous communities
- Indigenous communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
- Indigenous governing bodies
- First Nation governments, Band Councils or Tribal Councils, Inuit and Métis equivalent governing organizations.
- Interim reports
- Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your interim report will provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for a specific period, a report on the status of work to be accomplished and include updated revenue and expense reports.
- Key museum functions
- Standard established practices in main areas of collections-related activities within a museum or heritage organization, such as acquisition, conservation, research, collections information management, exhibitions and education.
- Letter of intent
- Written statement presented from a venue to the applicant institution acknowledging serious intent, willingness and ability to enter into a formal agreement. The letter should include a brief description of the project and the nature of the collaboration between the two institutions, including financial considerations and the timeline for implementing the project. The document does not constitute a definitive contract; it is subject to due diligence and fulfillment of certain conditions.
- LGBTQ2 communities
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two-Spirit. This is the acronym used by the Government of Canada to refer to the Canadian community.
- Minor capital assets
- Material goods with a depreciable value amortized over a period of time but not built into the fabric or shell of a building. Minor capital assets must relate directly to the proposed project (including specialized equipment, such as cameras, scanners, livestreaming equipment).
- A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing. Please refer to International Council of Museums – Definition of a Museum.
- National Museums of Canada
- National museums of Canada are Crown corporations established by the Museums Act.
- Official language minority communities
- The official language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
- Operational expenses
- Cash expenses paid by an organization, in return for goods or services that are not incremental to the project. These expenses are ineligible for funding.
- Result of an effort to attain a goal. They are the external effects or consequences of the project that are considered significant in relation to its initial commitments. Outcomes must be measurable and may occur within organizations, communities and individuals. They may relate to behaviour, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, conditions or other attributes. While there is less degree of control over outcomes, there should be a direct relationship between outputs and outcomes.
- Most immediate results of a project. Outputs are the direct products or services produced and delivered to a target group or population, such as an exhibition, a collections or exhibitions policy, a workshop or seminar.
- A heritage organization that agrees to pool efforts and resources with other like heritage organizations in order to achieve a common objective, while keeping its independence. Other heritage organizations are not recognized as partners unless they contribute directly in cash or in kind to the accomplishment of the project and benefit from its results.
- Performance indicator
Data that can be used to determine whether a project has achieved its intended qualitative and quantitative results and, if so, to what degree.
Performance indicators should capture the most significant information. They must be reliable and cost-effective. To select the appropriate performance indicators, these questions should be asked:
- Is it accurate? Will it measure the expected result?
- Is it a cost-effective means of collecting data?
- Can the information be obtained without infringing on privacy issues?
- Does the information assist the project manager in understanding what will be the impact of the project on targeted heritage organizations?
- Does it capture useful information that will assist the organization in making management decisions?
- Will the information be communicated easily to interested parties, including funding organizations?
- Will the information allow for a meaningful comparison between data prior to and after project completion?
a) Quantitative performance indicators
Data that can be used for evaluating progress made during a project. Quantitative performance indicators are expressed as statistical measurements such as numbers, percentages or ratios. For example:
- the number of visitors at an exhibition;
- the number of venues where a travelling exhibition was presented;
- the number of collections and objects preserved; and
- the number of participants at an activity, or users of tools.
If the project targets a specific audience, such as Indigenous, youth, rural/remote, official language minority or culturally diverse communities, identify the number of participants from the targeted community and/or the percentage of participants from the targeted community compared to the total number of participants. Other quantitative performance indicators include:
- the number and type of professional development activities (workshops, seminars, courses, etc.);
- the number of downloads;
- the number of online training activities developed (webinars, kits, etc.);
- the number of best practices tools or documents about key museum functions implemented; and
- the number of organizations benefiting from a sharing of best practices project.
b) Qualitative performance indicators
Information that can be used to evaluate progress made during a project. Qualitative indicators are expressed as opinions, behaviours or attitudes. Whenever possible, these performance indicators are generalized by the use of a rating scale; for example, research quality is rated as excellent, average or below average. Other qualitative performance indicators include:
- the level of satisfaction;
- opinions of participants indicating that they have learned a great deal on a given subject;
- comments by participants indicating that tools or documents developed could or will be implemented in their workplace;
- observations from the participants on how the activity has led to positive change in their workplace/professional development; and
- opinions of participants regarding the usefulness and/or relevance of the activity/tool.
- Performance measures
- Performance indicators that provide qualitative and/or quantitative information needed to measure the extent to which a project is achieving its intended outcomes. Qualitative data can be expressed in terms of change or comparison between two states, while quantitative indicators can be in the form of a ratio, percentage, comparison, or figure.
- Set of activities or functions that a recipient proposes to undertake with the financial assistance provided by a department. A project has a clear start and end date, occurs within a reasonable period of time and demonstrates measurable outputs and outcomes.
- Racialized communities
- Communities of shared heritage who have been historically disadvantaged as a group and may experience discrimination based on colour, culture and/or race.
- Retrospective exhibition
- A body of representative works, by an artist or a group of artists that spans a period of time and is presented and interpreted in the context of a historical perspective of the development and/or influences of that body of work. A minimum of 75% of the artefacts or visual art works should be drawn from public/private collections (other than the artist's collection), and a minimum of 90% of artefacts or visual art works must have been created more than 10 years prior to the date of application.
- Services to the public year-round
- Facilities and services are available to the public 12 months a year or upon request. Schedules and contact number for reservation are all up front and clearly displayed (website, building, brochure and advertising).
- Strategic plan
- Clearly written document that describes an organization's mandate, its short, mid and long-term goals or objectives, and priority actions to take. A strategic plan includes a timeframe for its execution, and identifies who, within the organization, or what outside agent will take responsibility for the completeness of the actions necessary to realize goals and objectives.
- Travelling exhibition
- Type of exhibition that is available for circulation to one or more venues in addition to the premises of the organizing museum.
- For the purpose of the Museums Assistance Program, youth are individuals generally between 7 and 30 years of age.
- An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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