Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program

New application form available online

Please note that the Canada Traveling Exhibitions Indemnification Program’s new application form and associated appendices in accessible format are now available online. They can be found in the column to the right, under Guides and help. Please download and complete the application form and any required appendices to apply to the program.


Please be advised that staff for the Canada Traveling Exhibitions Indemnification Program currently has limited access to PCH offices. To avoid delays in reviewing your application, it is currently not recommended to send application forms and related material by mail. For the shipping of any material, please send an email to with “Shipping of material” indicated in the title. A Program Officer will contact you to advise on the process to follow.

In 1999, the Government of Canada established the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program within the Department of Canadian Heritage. Indemnification is a process through which the government assumes financial risk, and provides compensation for damage or losses, should these occur. Through the establishment of the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program, therefore, the Government of Canada assumes the financial responsibility for loss or damage to objects and appurtenances in eligible travelling exhibitions.

The Program has two objectives: first, to increase access for Canadians to Canada's and the world's heritage through the exchange of artifacts and exhibitions in Canada; and second, to provide Canadian art galleries, museums, archives, and libraries with a competitive advantage when competing for the loan of prestigious international exhibitions. Both international and domestically organized exhibitions are eligible for indemnification.

To determine whether your exhibition project is eligible for indemnification or to find out what factors you should consider before applying, please complete the following self-assessment tool.

Indemnification for eligible travelling exhibitions is approved by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, in accordance with the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Act. The Act establishes a limit to the amount of contingent liability available to the Minister under the program. If demand for indemnification exceeds the limit of liability authorized by legislation, selection among eligible applications may be based on a combination of approaches and factors such as: limiting applications to one travelling exhibition per fiscal year; allocating priority to domestic exhibitions; allocating priority based on the number of Canadian venues; achieving regional balance; or the financial value of an eligible exhibition in relation to available liability.

This list of factors may vary from one approval cycle to the next depending on the level of demand for available liability. The Minister retains complete discretion to approve or reject applications for indemnification.

Who can apply

Two types of exhibitions qualify for indemnification under this program:

  • Exhibitions that are organized domestically and shown at venues in at least two provinces within Canada. This encourages the circulation of travelling exhibitions within Canada and meets the government's policy objective of providing greater access to Canada's heritage.
  • Exhibitions where the total fair market value of objects borrowed from sources outside Canada exceeds that of the total fair market value of objects borrowed from inside Canada. Such exhibitions are required to have only one Canadian venue as, through hosting the exhibition, the Canadian public will have access to cultural and heritage objects that would not otherwise be available.

Applicants must also refer to a number of additional eligibility and application details.

Application deadline

  • October 1 (for exhibitions requiring indemnification as early as the following January 1)
  • April 1 (for exhibitions requiring indemnification as early as the following July 1)

How to apply

Applicants are required to:

  • send the program a letter of intent to apply six to 12 months before the program's deadlines (letters should include: the title of the exhibition; a brief description of the contents; an itinerary; the dates for which indemnification is needed; the approximate number of lenders to be covered under indemnity; and the amount of indemnity required);
  • complete a facilities report for each Canadian institution that proposes hosting a travelling exhibition, including: assessments of security protection; fire protection; and collections preservation;
  • download the application form from the website and submit the completed copy, along with any required appendices, to the program electronically through a secure channel;
  • inform the program by email of any changes to the application after it has been submitted; and
  • submit a post-exhibition questionnaire (used by the program for statistical monitoring) and two copies of the exhibition catalogue and poster.

Please review the additional eligibility and application details prior to submission.

Immunity from Seizure and CITES Permit

It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain immunity from seizure for all objects imported into Canada.

Canada is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which sets controls on the international movement of threatened animal and plant species. If any objects contain material from CITES listed species, regardless of their age, it is strongly recommended that applicants complete a permit application form to obtain temporary import permission from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program
Heritage Policy and Programs Branch
Department of Canadian Heritage
25 Eddy Street, 9th Floor (25-9-N)
Gatineau, QC J8X 4B5

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 p.m. (EST).

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