Application Guidelines— Community Newspaper — Business Innovation

Canada Periodical Fund

On this page

Objectives and expected results for the Canada Periodical Fund

The Canada Periodical Fund provides financial support to Canadian print magazines, print community newspapers and digital periodicals, to enable them to overcome market disadvantages and continue to provide Canadian readers with the content they choose to read.

Objectives and expected results for the Business Innovation component

The Business Innovation component provides financial assistance to eligible small and mid-sized print magazine, print community newspapers (non-daily) and digital periodical publishers. The component encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers.

The objectives are to:

Innovation may involve the adoption or use of new technologies, but can also involve changing your business model or adapting to changes in your environment, to deliver better products or services. Innovation generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products or ideas, to increase productivity, performance and sustainability.

We recognize that official language minority, Indigenous, ethnocultural and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two spirited (LGBTQ2+) periodicals have a key role in the communities they serve. These periodicals benefit from special measures that improve their access to the Business Innovation component. These measures deal with matters such as the number of paid copies and the prices of magazines and newspapers.

Application deadline

September 15

You should submit your application at least eight (8) weeks before the planned project start date.

When an application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or statutory holiday, it is extended to the following working day.

Who can apply

Publishing firms producing printed paid circulation community newspapers and digital-only community periodicals.

Community newspapers under request circulation are not eligible.

To be eligible, you must meet all eligibility criteria for both the publishing firm and your periodical until March 31, 2023.

Please note that a business number is required for funding applications to the Department of Canadian Heritage. For more information on how to register for a business number (BN), please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Eligible publishing firms

Your publishing firm must:

Eligible periodicals

Your community newspaper must:

Print community newspapers must:

Both the subscription and single-copy prices must appear on the cover or in the masthead of the community newspaper. The minimum prices do not apply to official language minority, Indigenous, ethnocultural and LGBTQ2+ community newspapers.

Digital-only community newspapers must:

The following periodicals are ineligible under the Business Innovation – Community Newspaper component:

Eligibility

We are responsible for determining the eligibility of the periodical firm and the publication, the project and project related expenses.

The Business Innovation component is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from the Business Innovation - Community Newspaper component, your project must:

You may also consider applying for funding to undertake market research or to develop a business or marketing plan.

Some examples of eligible projects include:

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value, are eligible; these may include:

In-kind contributions are considered real contributions to the cost of the project, but are not reimbursable. Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

We reserve the right to limit the amount claimed as in-kind contribution or to obtain independent appraisals to determine the value of in-kind contributions.

A salary paid to an individual working directly on the project is considered a cash contribution.

Discounts from service providers or consultants are not considered as in-kind contributions.

Ineligible expenses include:

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.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, you are required 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 Business Innovation – Community Newspaper component and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed:

We can fund up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000 per fiscal year. For projects spanning more than one government fiscal year (with a maximum of up to 24 months), the total requested amount cannot exceed $75,000. A publisher applying for multiple titles is eligible to receive up to a maximum of $100,000 per publishing group.

You can submit only one application to Business Innovation – Community Newspaper per periodical, per fiscal year.

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than one government fiscal year (up to a maximum of 24 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.

Contact the program for an Application Form.

You must apply using the paid circulation business model.

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 – Community Newspaper and the following supporting documents:

Print newspapers:

Additional information and documents, such as audit circulation reports, financial statements, or additional issues can be requested to determine the eligibility of a periodical.

Digital-only newspapers:

Circulation measures and supporting documents required for various business models
Business model Circulation measure Supporting document
Paid subscription service Average number of paid subscribers over six months.

Declaration in application form.

Applicants must retain a copy of their subscribers list for five years in case we should conduct an audit.

Email-based service Average number of registered email recipients over six months.

Declaration in application form.

Applicants must retain a copy of the email recipients list for five years in case we should conduct an audit.

Open-access service Average number of unique monthly visitors over six months.

A valid report from a web auditing tool such as Google Analytics (free), Web Trends, or an accepted audit circulation board.

We reserve the right to refuse a report that is deemed unacceptable.

Third party platform Average number of unique downloads or views over six months.

A valid report from the service provider, or an accepted audit circulation board.

We reserve the right to refuse a report that is deemed unacceptable.

Circulation verification requirements

We accept reports from the following audit circulation boards:

In order to complete the "Financial Year Information" of the Periodical section of the application form, you must provide the following documents:

For paid circulation community newspapers with 50,000 paid copies and over

You must provide, at the time of application, circulation reports, issued by an accepted audit circulation board, for a consecutive 12-month period that begins in the financial year entered in the application form. The circulation reports requirement does not apply to Indigenous periodicals, official language minority periodicals and religious periodicals.

For first-time paid circulation community newspapers with 50,000 paid copies and over

You must provide, within six months of the application deadline, a circulation report issued by an accepted audit circulation board, for a consecutive 12-month period that begins in the financial year entered on the application form. If you are unable to provide circulation reports at the time of the application deadline, a proof of application to an accepted audit circulation board must be submitted with the application form; otherwise you will not be accepted.

For paid circulation community newspapers with less than 50,000 paid copies

Your periodical financial information entered in the "Financial Year Information" of the Periodical section of the application form will serve to substantiate the paid circulation.

Application process

Mail, email, or in-person submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically, at the following email address: fondsdesperiodiquescanada-canadaperiodicalfund@pch.gc.ca

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.

You can also mail or courier your complete application package to the headquarters of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Your mailed application must be postmarked no later than the published deadline to be considered.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Your application will be evaluated based on the criteria below.

The Business Innovation – Community Newspaper component is a competitive process and funds are limited. Your application will be compared and prioritized with other applications in relation to the funds available.

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

Your application will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

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 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 and a final report is required if the funding is a contribution.

Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.

Should the status of your publishing firm or periodical change, you must immediately inform us if one or more of the following changes occurs:

Should shares or assets of your periodical or publishing firm be sold, merged or by any other means transferred, resulting in a change of control of the specific firm or of the specific periodical, the following applies:

If the periodical or the publishing firm ceases to be eligible during any part the project lifecycle, all or part of the financial assistance will have to be reimbursed.

Prior to the release of a payment through a funding agreement, you must pay any outstanding amount to the Receiver General.

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.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly 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

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:

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 Periodical Fund – Business Innovation
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec 
K1A 0M5

Email
fondsdesperiodiquescanada-canadaperiodicalfund@pch.gc.ca
Telephone
819-997-0055
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
TTY
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Glossary

Advertising pages
Include paid advertising, contra or in-kind advertisements and advertorial, but does not include charitable, public service, house advertisements, the masthead or other non-revenue pages.
Advertorial content
Content of a periodical that promotes or presents the interests, opinions, services or products of an advertiser in a similar style, format and payout as the editorial content. Advertorial content is considered to be advertising.
Articles of incorporation
A legal document filed with a provincial or territorial government, or the federal government, which sets out a corporation's purpose and regulations.
Arts and literary periodical
A periodical that fosters awareness of the arts and literature and nurtures the vitality of Canadian cultural expression in Canada.
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.
Average circulation
The average circulation is the total number of copies circulated during the financial year divided by the total number of issues published during that financial year.
Business number
A Business Number is a unique 9-digit number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). A sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, trust or other organization must enter their Business number on the application form in "Publishing Firm Information" section. Register your business on the CRA website.
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 editorial content
Editorial content (text and photographs, graphics and illustrations) created or translated by a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or a participant to a federal or provincial program that provides work experiences or internships to individuals. Translated editorial content by a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of this Act will be considered Canadian editorial content if the editorial content is translated into one of the two official languages. Translation does not modify the nature of the editorial content.
Canadian ownership and control

To be eligible, a publishing firm or periodical must be majority owned and controlled by a Canadian. For the Canada periodical Fund, "Canadian" means:

  1. a Canadian citizen;
  2. a permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  3. a Canadian corporation; a partnership, trust or joint venture in which a Canadian or permanent resident or any combination of Canadians and/or permanents residents beneficially owns and controls, directly or indirectly, interests representing in value at least 51% of the total value of the assets of the partnership, trust or joint venture, as the case may be. The president or other presiding officer, and more than half of the directors or other similar officers are also Canadians or permanent residents; d. a not-for-profit organization in which at least 51% of its members and directors are Canadians or permanent residents.

If at any time one or more persons who are not Canadian have any direct or indirect influence through a trust, an agreement, an arrangement or otherwise that, if exercised, would lead to a control in fact of the publishing firm, the firm will no longer be recognized as Canadian-owned.

"Canadian corporation" is one that meets the following criteria:

  1. a corporation that is incorporated under the laws of Canada, a province or a territory;
  2. a corporation whose principal place of business is in Canada;
  3. a corporation whose president or other presiding officer, and more than half of the directors or other similar officers are Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  4. a corporation, in the case of a corporation with share capital, of which Canadians beneficially own and control, other than by way of shares held only as security, directly or indirectly, in the aggregate at least 51% of all the issued and outstanding voting shares representing more than half of the votes; and
  5. a corporation, in the case of a corporation without share capital, of which Canadians beneficially own and control, directly or indirectly, interests representing in value at least 51% of the total value of the assets.

As an exception to the requirement for both Canadian ownership and Canadian control, publishing firms that are owned by Canadians and have operated in Canada as a publisher of periodicals for at least thirty years will be considered eligible even if they are not Canadian-controlled.

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.
Circulation report

A circulation report issued by an accepted audit circulation board that reports on the volume of circulation by source, circulation type by breakout, frequency, locations of distribution and selling price for a magazine or non-daily newspaper during a specific period.

We accept reports from the following audit circulation boards:

  • Canadian Circulations Audit Board (CCAB/BPA), a division of BPA Worldwide
  • Alliance for Audited Media (AAM)
  • Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA) / Canadian Media Circulation Audit (CMCA)
Consumer periodical

A periodical aimed at the public, of two types:

  • General interest: dealing with broad topics likely to be of interest to anyone, such as news, general history and entertainment.
  • Special interest: dealing with niche topics, such as hobbies, cooking, sports, and countless other topics.
Community Newspaper
A newspaper that primarily circulates local or regional information on a geographically defined territory or on information on the basis of common affiliation (e.g. farm, ethnocultural, religious), published under a common name at regular intervals, in print or via digital formats.
Complimentary circulation
Copies distributed free of charge.
Controlled circulation
Copies distributed free of charge on a regular basis to consumers selected by the publisher.
Cost of goods sold
Value of the opening stock plus all purchases less the value of the closing stock.
Digital only periodical
Is defined as a publication that primarily text, photographic, and illustrated editorial content delivered through a website, download or email, and that is published on a regularly scheduled basis under a common title and governed by an editorial function (editor).
Digital non-replica periodical
A periodical that is the digital version of a print magazine but whose content is at least 50% original.
Editorial content
The space in a periodical, excluding advertising and non-revenue pages, which consists of original text, images, photographs, graphics and illustrations. For additional information, see the definition of Canadian editorial content.
Editorial function/edited in Canada
The commissioning of editorial material and artwork, directing writers, illustrators and photographers regarding the final form of the material; laying out, copyediting; proofreading; and otherwise preparing the content for publication; must be done in Canada.
Ethnocultural periodical

A periodical that primarily serves or is primarily concerned with a commonly recognized specific cultural or racially distinct community or specific linguistic group using other than Canada's official languages.

An eligible ethnocultural periodical may be published in any language.

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.
Fiscal year (of the Government)
Refers to the federal government fiscal year, which starts on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year.
Foreign editorial content
Editorial content (text and images) created or translated by a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. If the creator or translator is unknown, or if the citizenship cannot be determined, the editorial content is deemed foreign.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
Indigenous periodical
A periodical that is primarily targeted to and concerned with serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Innovation

Innovation generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas to increase productivity, performance and sustainability. Innovation may involve the use of technology but, it can also involve changing your business model and adapting to changes in your environment to deliver better products or services. Some examples of innovation are:

  • product innovation (the what): developing new products and services and improving existing products and services;
  • process innovation (the how): developing new processes, methods and tools to reduce cost, create efficiencies, improve delivery and quality of products and services;
  • market innovation (the who): extending market reach by modifying current offerings to reach new audiences and targeting audiences in new ways; and
  • value innovation (the why): re-branding. Activities related to developing the organization’s brand
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
An internationally agreed upon standard number that uniquely identifies a publication. It is assigned by the ISSN Network.
LGBTQ2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirited) periodical
A periodical that primarily serves or is primarily concerned with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited 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.
Listings
A series of words, numbers, paragraphs, photos or other items, which may include descriptions, opinions or analysis. Examples: stock listings, sports scores and standings, television listings, product descriptions and restaurant descriptions. Adding star ratings or other indicators to descriptive text does not constitute opinion or analysis.
Magazine
A print periodical that is commonly recognized as a magazine, is paginated and bound, appears in consecutively numbered or dated issues, is published under a common title at regular intervals and may possess an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).
Masthead
The section of a periodical which lists information on the staff, the publisher, the editorial board, and provides contact information.
Newsletter

A publication, issued periodically, typically by a business, institution, or other organization, that presents information and news to members, customers, or employees with a specific interest in the organization or subject.

A publication scoring six or more points on the following scale is a newsletter and is not eligible under the Business Innovation component.
Specifications Points
1. No cover page – the articles start immediately 2
2. Unbound 2
3. Fewer than 20 pages 2
4. No table of contents 1
5. Does not list authors 1
6. No full masthead 1
7. No regular editorial columns or letters to the editor 1
8. Part of a continued series (volumes) 1
Total /11
Newspaper

A periodical which contains news on current events of special or general interest. The individual articles are listed chronologically or numerically and appear regularly, usually at least once a week but sometimes bimonthly or monthly.

A print periodical scoring six or more points on the following scale is a newspaper.
Specifications Points
1. Broadsheet format, tabloid format or outsized (larger than 8-1/2 x 11 inches) 2
2. Unbound 3
3. Printed on any type of newsprint 1
4. Identified as a newspaper (daily or non-daily) 1
5. Cover subdivided (articles, boxed photos) 1
6. Advertising on front cover 1
7. Divided into detachable regular sections, such as news, analysis, entertainment, sports 1
Total /10
Non-revenue pages
All pages other than advertising pages, contra or editorial. They can include self-promotional pages, pages donated to local charities or businesses, delivery of in-kind services, etc. Blank pages are considered to be non-revenue pages.
Offensive content

Periodicals or projects that, in our opinion, contain or promote any of the following:

  • material that is hate propaganda, obscene or child pornography, or any other illegal material, as defined in the Criminal Code;
  • pornography or other material having significant sexual content unless it can be demonstrated that there is an overriding educational or other similar purpose;
  • material that contains excessive or gratuitous violence;
  • material that is denigrating to an identifiable group; or
  • any other similarly offensive material.

Periodicals that contain offensive content, in our opinion, are not eligible for funding under the Business Innovation component.

Official language minority periodical
A periodical that is published in English or French, in a region of Canada where the language and content of the periodical primarily serves and is concerned with an official language minority community (a French-language community outside of Quebec or an English-language community in Quebec).
Original content
Editorial content created for the Canadian market that has not previously been published elsewhere in Canada or abroad, including websites and other Canadian or foreign periodicals.
Paid circulation
Copies of a magazine or community newspaper sold through subscriptions, single-copies/ newsstand sales and sponsored copies.
Professional association periodical

A professional association periodical meets all the following conditions:

  • is directly owned by an association;
  • membership in the association is necessary to maintain a professional status which is recognized by a federal or provincial statute; and
  • membership in the association includes paying professional dues which are deductible under subparagraph 8(1)(i) (i) of the Income Tax Act.

Professional association periodicals are not eligible for funding under the Aid to publishers component.

Publishing cycle
The number of issues of a periodical, pre-determined by the publishing firm, that are published during the 12-month financial year.
Religious periodical
A periodical that is primarily religious in purpose and content.
Request circulation - Direct request copies
Non-paid eligible copies that are individually addressed to recipients who have directly requested the periodical from a publishing firm using written, telephone, email or fax request.
Scholarly journal
A magazine, aimed at specialists, which presents results of research in a specific field for disseminating knowledge.
Special issue

An insert or a combination of two issues is not considered as a special issue. A special issue:

  • is published within the regular publishing cycle;
  • is an additional issue, sent separately, that focuses on a specific theme or topic;
  • has a title and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) common to the host periodical; and
  • has its cost included in the subscription cost.
Sponsored content
A specific and distinct section of content that is sponsored by a single advertiser. The sponsored content will often match the subject matter, as well as the targeted audience. Sponsored content is considered to be advertising.
Sponsored copies
Copies purchased by a sponsor for distribution to targeted consumers to increase its business relationship with the consumers.
Subscriber
An individual who has knowingly paid or undertaken to pay for a subscription to a periodical, to be delivered over a specified period.
Trade magazine
A magazine that is targeted to workers in a particular field of employment, usually using request circulation. Also known as a business, business-to-business, or professional magazine.
Volunteer
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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: