Application Guidelines — Aid to Publishers — Digital Periodical

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. The Fund ensures Canadians have access to diverse Canadian editorial content in print magazines, print community newspapers and digital periodicals.

Objectives and expected results for the Aid to Publishers

The Aid to Publishers component is designed to provide eligible Canadian publishers of print magazines, print community newspapers and digital periodicals with the financial support they need to produce and distribute high-quality, Canadian editorial content for Canadian readers.

We recognize that official-language minority, Indigenous, ethnocultural and Two-Sprit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and plus (2SLGBTQI+) periodicals have a key role in the communities they serve. These periodicals benefit from special measures that improve their access to the Aid to Publishers component. These measures deal with matters such as the number of paid copies and the prices of print magazines and print community newspapers and the financial requirements for digital periodicals.

Application deadline

November 30, 2023 11:59 p.m. (EST)

Who can apply

Publishing firms producing digital periodicals.

To be eligible, you must meet all eligibility criteria for both the publishing firm and your periodical until March 31, 2025.

Eligible publishing firms

Your publishing firm must:

Eligible periodicals

Your periodical must:

The following periodicals are ineligible under the Aid to Publishers component:


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of the periodical firm and the publication.

Digital periodical eligibility criteria are subject to changes in future cycles.

Digital-only magazines and community newspapers must:

Eligible expenses

You have flexibility in the use of funds.

Financial support can be spent on different activities, including:

Financial support must be spent for expenses that occur during the next fiscal year (from April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025). You may be required to return any part of the financial support not spent by the end of that period.

Ineligible expenses include:

Limits of government assistance

Except for farm periodicals, we can fund up to $150,000 per periodical.

The total financial assistance received from the Aid to Publishers component of the Canada Periodical Fund and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 75% of any publisher's total expenditures for the creation, production, marketing and distribution of print magazines, print community newspapers and digital periodicals.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.

When completing the application form, you must report on the publishing activities that occurred during the publishing firm's twelve (12) month financial year that ends on a date within the period of April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes the Aid to Publishers – Application Form – Digital Periodical and the following supporting documents:

Please note that the Web analytics report provided must come from an official application or service; an Excel or Word document will not be accepted.

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

Application process

Your application, including all supporting documents, must be submitted electronically through the Canadian Heritage Funding Portal.

Should you be unable to access the new online system or apply online for any reason, please contact us using the information in the Contact Us section below.

How applications are evaluated

Funding is distributed proportionally according to the eligible editorial expenditures of each recipient and the proportion is adjusted to account for the following factors: type and category of periodical

These factors are given additional consideration to reflect the core principles of the Canada Periodical Fund that:

Evaluation criteria

Your application will be evaluated based on the eligible editorial expenditures incurred during your financial year.

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the Program.

An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to you by email automatically following the submission of your funding application via the Portal.

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

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:

All or part of the financial support will have to be reimbursed, if the periodical or the publishing firm ceases to be eligible during any part of 2024-2025.

Prior to the release of a payment through a funding agreement, you must pay any outstanding amount to the Receiver General. If you fail to comply with the obligations related to prior funding, including repayment requirements, your future applications for funding may be rejected.

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
Aid to Publishers
25 Eddy St, 25-8-U
Gatineau, QC  J8X 4B5


Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).


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.

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.

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/territorial 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 permanent 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;
  4. 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"

"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.

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 community 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 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.

Complimentary circulation

Copies distributed free of charge or for which there is no monetary transaction or proof of sale.

Cost of goods sold

Value of the opening stock plus all purchases less the value of the closing stock.

Digital-only periodical

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.

Editorial expenditures

Salaries/costs related to the generation of editorial pages and the activities leading to the production of Canadian editorial content, (for both print and digital content), these include:

  • Editor(s)
    • the person(s) responsible for implementing the editorial policy and is responsible for the editorial content of the publication.
  • Writer(s)
    • a person who composes thoughts and presents information in literary forms as their occupation or profession.
  • Translator(s)
    • an employee or third-party services whose specific job requires changing words in written form from one language into a different language;
      • translated editorial content – See “Canadian editorial content”.
  • Proofreader(s)
    • the function of reading text after typesetting but before printing. A proofreader compares the compositor's typeset pages to the original manuscript.
  • Photographer(s)
    • the function of producing photographs as stand-alone stories or associated with a theme or story for the purpose of publication in a print or digital publication.
  • Publisher(s)
    • a person that prepares and issues journals, magazines and community newspapers in traditional and digital formats for sale to the public which can include their own work and from other authors’.
  • Designer(s)
    • costs associated with creative selection of graphic elements and correlating the selected text and graphics into a visually pleasing page format ready for production.
  • Illustrator(s)
    • a paid person that creates a conceptualized drawing from the theme of the copy and designs images consistent with the style or format of the publication.
  • Videographer(s)
    • the function of producing videos for publication on an associated digital platform or a digital only magazine or digital-only community newspaper.
  • Research
    • the systematic approach to studying materials and to ascertain details from sources in order to determine facts and/or reach conclusions.
  • Journalist(s)
    • a paid employee who researches and/or investigates events and produces articles which include facts, descriptions or events explanations of interest to the reader.
  • Canadian content rights purchased
    • costs associated with the acquisition of Canadian editorial materials from a Canadian or permanent residents who are not salaried employees.
  • Freelance editorial work
    • costs associated to a Canadian or permanent resident that are not employed by the publishing firm but provide editorial services to the publication.
  • Circulation audit report – See “Circulation report”

Electronic newsletter sent by a website or organization to users who subscribe to it.

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 languages than Canada's official languages.

An eligible ethnocultural periodical may be published in any language.

Farm periodical

A periodical aimed at the farming industry, including animal farming.

Final report

A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements defined in the funding agreement.

Financial year

Refers to the publishing firm's twelve-month financial year that ends on a date within the period of April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

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 periodical

A periodical that is primarily targeted to and concerned with serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Ineligible Editorial expenditures

Salaries/costs related to the generation of editorial content that are not recognized or covered by the Aid to Publishers formula for the production of Canadian editorial content, these include:

  • travel;
  • amortized capital costs;
  • salaries for employees other than those involved in the creation of editorial content (administration, marketing, advertising, etc.); and
  • salaries of employees creating editorial content that are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

An internationally agreed upon standard number that uniquely identifies a publication. It is assigned by the ISSN Network.

2SLGBTQI+ (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and plus) periodical

A periodical that primarily serves or is primarily concerned with Two-Spirit people, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities, who use additional terminologies.


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.


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).


The section of a periodical which lists information on the staff, the publisher, the editorial board, and provides contact information.


A publication, issued periodically, typically by a business, institution, or other organization, that presents information and news to members, customers, or employees.

A newsletter attributes include the following but may not be limited to:

  • no cover page – articles start immediately;
  • unbound;
  • fewer than 20 pages;
  • no table of contents;
  • no list of authors;
  • no full masthead;
  • no regular editorial columns or letter to the editor; and
  • part of a continued series.

Newsletters are not eligible for funding under the Aid to Publishers component.


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 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 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 Aid to Publishers 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-speaking community outside of Quebec or an English-speaking 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/territorial 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

Copies of magazines 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.

Single-copy/newsstand copies sold

Copies purchased by an individual at a point of sale or newsstand for which there is a monetary transaction and a proof of sale.

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 an advertiser. The sponsored content will often match the subject matter, as well as the audience. Sponsored content is considered to be advertising.

Sponsored copies

Copies purchased in sets of 11 or more in a single transaction or copies purchased by a sponsor for distribution to targeted consumers.


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.


An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.

Web Analytics Report

A report that provides traffic information on a given website. For program purposes, the required information on the report must include:

  • URL Address
  • Geographic data
  • Traffic during the application financial year

Please note that the Web analytics report provided must come from an official application or service; an Excel or Word document will not be accepted.

Page details

Date modified: