Sport Funding Framework

The Sport Funding Framework (SFF) is the tool used by Canadian Heritage to identify which organizations are eligible to receive Sport Canada contributions under the Sport Support Program.

The Sport Funding Framework also determines the National Sport Organization’s Reference-level funding. The purpose of this funding is to enable programming that supports the development of the Canadian sport system.

Prior to being considered for funding through the Sport Support Program, organizations must proceed through the SFF process. There are three stages to the SFF process:

Eligibility and Data Intake

In order to apply for eligibility, your organization must:

  • be a federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organization and in good standing;
  • be affiliated with the International Federation (IF) for its sport and recognized by the IF as the governing body for the sport or discipline in Canada; and
  • meet the criteria outlined in Sport Canada’s definition of sport for funding purposes.

Definition of sport for funding purposes

The sport is a regulated form of physical activity organized as a contest between two or more participants for the purpose of determining a winner by fair and ethical means.

The sport requires a competitive format and structure, sanctioned by the recognized governing body for the sport, at either the national or international/world level, and open to all participants who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the rules of the sport.

The sport’s competitive events require the onsite presence of officials sanctioned by the sport governing body to apply the rules objectively, fairly and consistently.

The main form of the sport may be comprised of disciplines and events that share the main characteristics of the sport with variations according to various parameters: different distances, styles, apparatus, weight categories, gender, etc.

All distinct disciplines developed specifically for athletes with a disability are considered within the sport and its governing body.

Limitations for funding purposes

Certain categories of sports or competitive activities fall outside Sport Canada’s definition of sport for funding purposes and are therefore excluded. Note that the limitations for funding purposes apply only to sports not on the prioritized Major Games (i.e., Olympic and Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan American and Parapan American Games).

  • Sports in which athletes directly use and control motorized propulsion as a component of competition (e.g., racing of automobiles, motorcycles, power boats, aircraft, snow machines, etc.).
  • Games of skill such as billiards, darts, board games (e.g., chess, bridge, scrabble), and electronic games and/or e-sports.
  • The professional or commercial component of sports owned and/or operated outside the jurisdiction of the sport’s recognized National or International Sport Federation by private enterprises, promoters, major professional leagues, franchises or other professional associations.
  • Related forms, variations or adaptations of existing sports, disciplines and/or events will generally be considered as disciplines within the original sport and not be considered as a distinct sport for eligibility purposes, regardless of the fact that such related forms, variations or adaptations may be organized independently from or outside existing National Sport Organizations.
  • Competitions (multi-event or multi-sport) and competitive activities developed as a variation, adaptation, combination or dimension of other non-sport or sport activities will not be eligible (e.g., police, firefighter, military games, life-saving competitions, ski patrol competitions, cross-fit, Ninja Sports, crashed ice skaters, etc.).

The eligibility application process is a two-step process. The first step is conducted online via the Canadian Heritage Funding Portal and the second step is completing a Data Intake form.

The deadline to submit the online application, completed Data Intake form and supporting documentation is September 15, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Organizations that meet the eligibility requirements will proceed to the next stage of the SFF. Being deemed eligible does not guarantee financial support.

Funding Application and Assessment

Organizations that meet the eligibility requirements will be asked to develop a multi-year needs-based funding application according to the Contribution Guidelines for National Sport Organizations. Submitting a funding application does not guarantee funding.

Sport Canada will proceed with the assessment of the data collected at eligibility to ensure the funding model can be applied fairly and consistently across all eligible organizations.

The funding model has been designed to measure differentiators related to the complexity and scope of the sport. These, along with sub-factors related to status, delivery, and reach are used to differentiate organizations for the purposes of allocating funding.

After completing the funding application according to the Contribution Guidelines and the assessment stage, organizations will be provided with their assessment score which determines their Reference-level.

Monitoring and Accountability

Sport Canada is modernizing its accountability standards and monitoring process. Although the approach is currently under development, the intent is to have a continuous, proactive and systematic approach to managing risk from a Sport Canada perspective. There will be enhanced monitoring and evaluation to ensure that organizations are meeting critical benchmarks on governance, safety in sport and in other areas. These measures will inform the development of contribution agreements with recipients.

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