Application Guidelines – Collective Initiatives

Canada Periodical Fund

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Objectives and expected results for the Canada Periodical Fund

The Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) provides financial assistance to Canadian print magazines, print community (non-daily) 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 Collective Initiatives component

The Collective Initiatives component provides funding to organizations for projects designed to increase the overall sustainability of the Canadian magazine and community newspaper industries.

The objectives are to fund organization-based projects that will:

  • encourage collective efficiencies in the creation, publishing and distribution of Canadian periodicals;
  • explore and test new business models and digital opportunities for the periodical industry;
  • increase the information base available to the periodical industry and policymakers;
  • provide services, training and professional development opportunities to the industry; and
  • raise the profile of the periodical industry among advertisers, readers, creators, and as a career opportunity for Canadians.

Application deadline

September 15

Applications for projects starting in the current fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) will be accepted on an ongoing basis until 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

To be eligible for funding, your organization must:

  • be incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of Canada or a province;
  • have its head office located in Canada;
  • have been in operation for at least one financial year prior to application; and
  • have a principal mandate of:
    • representing and informing members of the periodical industry;
    • delivering educational or consultative programs to its members and/or other members of the industry;
    • promoting Canadian print magazines, digital periodicals and/or community (non-daily) newspapers or the services of their creators; or
    • encouraging and/or recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print magazines, digital periodicals and community (non-daily) newspapers.

If the project is submitted by an organization that represents a wide range of professional activities, the degree to which the project benefits primarily the periodical industry will be considered.

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.


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

The Collective Initiatives 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 Collective Initiatives component, your project must be:

  • well-researched, with activities that demonstrate realistic objectives and outcomes, and measurable results;
  • detailed and specific in terms of timeframe, activities, products and costs;
  • able to demonstrate direct benefit to members of the applicant organization or association;
  • aimed at improving the competitive performance of the Canadian periodical industry; and
  • in support of the objective of the Canada Periodical Fund, and at least one of the objectives of the Collective Initiatives component.

Eligible projects may include:

  • research aimed at analyzing industry trends, new technologies, new business models;
  • market research and business plans;
  • collective initiatives in response to industry trends (aimed at marketing, promotion, education, awareness);
  • training and professional development for members of the periodical industry; and
  • promotion of the Canadian periodical industry in the domestic and foreign markets, particularly through the Web and other digital platforms.

We encourage applications for projects that explore export opportunities for Canadian publications, such as:

  • development and implementation of market development and branding strategies;
  • participation or attendance in trade fairs/shows and multilateral meetings and conferences;
  • technical training and trade seminars designed to prepare magazines (export readiness); and
  • technical support services and research which facilitate entry into markets.

Eligible expenses

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

  • market research costs;
  • venue and equipment rental;
  • specialized software licensing during the project period;
  • promotion and marketing costs;
  • professional fees (e.g. contractors, etc.);
  • training;
  • registration fees (excludes registration fees of participants for the organization’s own events);
  • paid internships;
  • project-related travel expenses, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business;
  • project-related salary costs (must be less than 25% of total eligible project expenses);
  • project-related overhead costs (e.g. mailings, courier, telephone long distance) limited to a maximum of 10% of the total recommended amount; and
  • costs of audited financial report for the project (for contributions of $250,000 and over, or when required by the program).

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 expenses 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).

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

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

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.

Ineligible expenses include:

  • capital expenditures (e.g. computer or equipment purchase, etc.);
  • research or activities undertaken prior to the receipt of an application;
  • occupancy and ongoing operating costs of the organization (e.g. rent, insurance, utilities, etc.);
  • hospitality costs (e.g. meals and beverages served at an event, catering fees);
  • portion of GST or other taxes that are recoverable for reimbursement;
  • all costs related to awards, contests, sweepstakes, draws, incentives and prizes;
  • travel expenses that are not directly project-related, or to attend professional development sessions or internships;
  • meals, incidentals, and per diems;
  • exchanges of services (e.g. advertising swaps)
  • project contingency funds; and
  • bursaries for organization members.

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.

Your cash contribution must represent at least 10% of the total cost of the project.

The total financial assistance received from the Collective Initiatives component of the Canada Periodical Fund and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed:

  • 75% of your total eligible project-related costs.

We can fund up to 75% of eligible expenses per government fiscal year.

Recipients may receive funding from Collective Initiatives for more than one project in a fiscal year.

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months (up to a maximum of 36 months). You must 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 and continued financial viability.

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 signed Application Form and the following supporting documents:

  • proof of legal status (for a first time applicant or incorporated in the year, if applicable);
  • the most recent annual activity report;
  • a copy of the resolution of the Board of Directors in support of the project and identifying signing authority;
  • research in support of the proposed project
  • quotes and résumés from consultants; and
  • written confirmation of in-kind contributions to the project and other sources of funding, if applicable.

For funding requests of $100,000 and over, provide the most recent financial statements of the organization at one of the following levels:

  • audited (if available);
  • review engagement report; or
  • notice to reader.

Application process

  • contact the program for an Application Form;
  • complete, sign and date the Application Form;
  • attach all the required supporting documents; and
  • submit your application through only one means (i.e. by mail, by courier, etc.).

Mail, email, or in-person submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically, at the following email address:

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, courier or hand-deliver your complete application package to the headquarters of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Your 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 evaluation criteria below. It 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:

  • degree to which the project meets the objectives of the CPF, as well as the Collective Initiatives component;
  • demonstrated industry need for the project;
  • suitability of the total project costs to the organization’s scale of operations;
  • applicant financial need for the project;
  • degree of innovation involved in the project;
  • how the current application represents new activities for the organization, or incorporates activities that add value to previous CPF applications;
  • degree to which the project can demonstrate short-term results, measurable improvement, added value from previous projects or activities or a sustainable strategy;
  • impact of the project on the Canadian periodical industry (for example: lasting benefit; broad reach to variety of stakeholders);
  • degree of involvement and assistance or financial commitment from other sources, including members of the organization and other stakeholders;
  • demonstrated capacity of the organization to undertake the project;
  • suitability of the budget to the scale of the project; and
  • clarity and relevance of expected results and performance measures, including indicators that will be used to assess the success of the project.

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

We determine funding amounts based on your financial need. 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 condition 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. If you receive $250,000 or more as a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report.

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

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures conducive to creating 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/or 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:

  • 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.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:
Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Periodical Fund – Collective Initiatives
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
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).


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.
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.
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.
Community Newspaper
A non-daily 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.
Digital periodical
A digital periodical is defined as primarily text, photography, and illustrated editorial content accessible through a digital platform (e.g. a website, download, or email) and updated regularly under a common title and governed by an editorial function (editor).
Ethnocultural communities
A group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage. For the purpose of this definition, ethnocultural communities include Canadians of diverse culture such as, but not limited to African, Arab, Asian, Latin American or mixed heritage.
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.
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 and include a final report of actual revenues and expenses.
Fiscal year (of the Government)
Refers to the federal government fiscal year, which starts on April 1 of a given year and ends on March 31 of the following year.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

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.
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.

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).
Not-for-profit organization
All organizations incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act or the law of any province or territory.
Official-language minority communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Overhead costs
Long distance telephone charges, rent, fax, photocopying, couriers, general administration and similar expenses.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.
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