Eligibility and application details – Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program

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Eligibility details

The main page for the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program details the two types of exhibitions that qualify for indemnification (see "Who can apply" section).

Eligibility is also determined by the value of individual travelling exhibitions. The total fair market value of all objects and appurtenances in an exhibition must be at least $500,000 CDN to be considered for indemnification. Indemnity is limited to a maximum of $600 million CDN per exhibition.

Indemnification coverage for indemnified objects and appurtenances in a single conveyance may not exceed $100 million CDN, because dividing an exhibition during shipping diffuses the concentration of risk. If the value of an individual indemnified object or appurtenance exceeds $100 million CDN, commercial insurance must be purchased for the excess amount while the item travels.

Approved facilities

Facilities approval for each host institution throughout the proposed indemnification period is a prerequisite for indemnification. If a proposed host institution is not currently approved by the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program, an application for facilities approval must be submitted by that institution. Once approved, and assuming that the facilities remain as assessed, the facilities will remain approved for five years.

One-time approval for a specific area in non-approved hosting institutions may be considered; please contact the Indemnification Program for further information. A travelling exhibition may be indemnified throughout the remainder of its itinerary while excluding coverage at a specific host institution. Non-indemnified venues are responsible for full coverage.

To obtain the facilities evaluation form, please send a request to dgpindemnisation-dghbindemnification@pch.gc.ca.

Application details

The main page for the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program details the basic steps required for the application process.

Only applications that provide thorough answers to each question will be considered for indemnification and no Indemnification Agreements will be undertaken unless an application is complete. The completed application, plus any attachments, must be sent electronically through a secure channel to the Canada Traveling Exhibitions Indemnification Program.

The application form can be found here. If you are a first-time applicant to the program or have not applied recently, it may be useful to fill-out the self-assessment tool to determine if indemnification is right for your exhibition project.

Application form guide

The following guide is intended to provide applicants with further details regarding the information required in the application form. Please note that the information below is undergoing review and may not reflect the new application form. In cases of any inconsistencies with the application form, please note that the form will take precedence. If you have any questions, contact the program by email at dgpindemnisation-dghbindemnification@pch.gc.ca.

Applicant Information

Applicant Institution (1.1a)

The applicant must be an eligible institution situated in Canada that is organizing or hosting a travelling exhibition in Canada. Applicants should indicate if the proposed exhibition is part of an internationally circulating exhibition or an exchange agreement with a foreign institution. If indemnification is requested for an exhibition shown at several Canadian venues, one institution must apply on behalf of all others, listing them as venues.

Director / CEO (1.1b)

Include name, coordinates and preferred language of correspondence for the director of the applicant institution authorized to sign this application.

Contact Person (1.1c)

Include name, coordinates and preferred language of correspondence for the principle contact person for this application to whom questions are addressed.

Title of exhibition (1.2)

Provide English and French versions of the exhibition title. Include the working titles of the exhibition if final titles have not yet been decided upon. Inform the Indemnification Program once titles have been finalized.

Project Director (1.3)

Include the name, title, coordinates, language of correspondence of the individual responsible for organizing the exhibition, and attach a brief curriculum vitae.

Schedule of exhibition (1.4)

Provide the exhibition dates of all Canadian and international venues, whether or not indemnification is requested.

Indemnity Period Requested (1.5a – 1.5b)

If granted, an Indemnity Agreement will normally provide coverage from condition reporting when a participating institution assumes responsibility for the safeguarding of the indemnified object to condition reporting when that responsibility ceases, excluding any period during which the exhibition containing the object is exhibited outside Canada. Indicate the date(s) and place(s) at which indemnity coverage is requested to begin and end.

The maximum time period of coverage for an Indemnity Agreement is two years; however, this period may be extended for an additional year once the agreement is in effect should opportunities for further venues for the exhibition or delays in transit occur. Requests for changes in time period or in participating institutions must be made with sufficient time to allow for review.

Abstract or summary of the exhibition (1.6)

Provide an abstract or summary of the theme/story line of the exhibition.

Objects and Appurtenances for which Indemnity is Requested (1.7 – 1.12)

An appurtenance is an accessory to an object which forms an integral part for purposes of exhibiting that object. Examples include picture frames, made-to-measure supports for objects of difficult shape, reconstructed pieces missing in an archaeological object, original pedestals, etc. Objects and appurtenances owned by the applicant or participating institutions will not be indemnified while on exhibition at the owner institution's premises, but these objects and appurtenances may be included on this list for coverage while in transit and while exhibited at other venues.

For reasons of risk, the Government of Canada will only consider indemnification of friable objects, such as oil on copper or oil on wood paintings, pastels, lacquered objects, certain types of glass (including enamels), works on parchment or vellum, marquetry, frescoes, oversized works and very fragile objects, if sufficient risk mitigation has been implemented to assure their safety. Any and all objects in an exhibition may be excluded from coverage and the Minister may choose to deny indemnification or award only partial indemnification at the Minister's discretion.

Include the object information indicated below for each object and appurtenance for which indemnification is requested, borrowed from both inside and outside Canada.

PLEASE NOTE: Submit a paper copy of the object list(s) organized by lender together with the original application. Once finalized, a final electronic copy in an Excel format should be provided to the Program to facilitate the creation of indemnity agreements with the lenders.

Object identification

  • name or title of the object
  • artist (indicate if borrower does not agree with lender's attribution)
  • type of object or appurtenance (e.g., painting, drawing, photograph, ceramic, sculpture, furniture, jewellery, clothing, manuscript)
  • accession or catalog number
  • creation date or age (indicate if borrower disagrees with lender's attribution)
  • material or medium of the object and its support
  • dimensions (indicate unit of measurement used)
  • indicate if an object is part of a pair or set consisting of more than one part, such as a pair of earrings (please note the policy regarding pairs or sets as set out in the Model Indemnity Agreement).
  • for manuscripts, include the number of pages and the number and size of illuminations or illustrations
  • for books, include the date of the edition and, if possible, its rarity (number of known copies) and any annotations or associations the book might have
  • for photographs, include the date of the print, the number, the edition and, if known, whether the print was made by the photographer.

Fair market value

"Fair market value" is defined as being the highest price an item might reasonably be expected to bring if sold by the owner in the normal method applicable to the item in question in the ordinary course of business in a market not exposed to any undue stresses and composed of willing buyers and sellers dealing at arm's length and under no compulsion to buy or sell.

Each object and appurtenance must be assigned a value in Canadian dollars. Conversion from foreign currencies must be calculated at the Bank of Canada Daily Exchange Rate posted at 16:30 ET on the date upon which the application is signed. Should the foreign currency not be among the list of 26 posted by the Bank of Canada, the Program requests that applicants use the rates posted by Public Works and Procurement Canada. Please note that these rates are updated daily, and a historical range is not provided. As such, applicants must print from the relevant websites the exchange rate page on the date the application is signed and submit it as proof with the rest of the required documentation.

Applicants must have fair market values confirmed by knowledgeable experts (e.g., a curator) other than professional staff of the applicant institution or from the institutions directly involved with the exhibition. Provide the third party's name and title / credentials and submit their signed confirmation together with the list of objects they have reviewed. It is recognized that objects may be of outstanding significance and national importance and that valuations may reflect historical significance as well as intrinsic value and artistic merit.


Provide the name and address of the owner holding legal title to each object or appurtenance (or the owner's legally designated representative). Private lenders must be identified by name, city and country of residence. The Government of Canada enters into an Indemnity Agreement with the owner (or legally designated representative) and incorrect owner information could render an Indemnity Agreement invalid.

Insurance or indemnification coverage (1.13)

The Canada Traveling Exhibitions Indemnification Act provides for a deductible, based on the total fair market value of the exhibition. This serves to transfer the risk and cost for lower-value claims to commercial insurers and establishes a shared responsibility and partnership between host institutions and the Government of Canada. The deductible covers the entire exhibition throughout its Canadian itinerary and is not per item or per venue. Commercial insurance equivalent to the deductible may be purchased for each exhibition, or an institution's existing in-house insurance may serve this purpose. The required deductible is calculated as follows:

Insurance or indemnification coverage (1.13)
Total fair market value of the exhibition ($ CDN) Deductible ($ CDN)

$500,000 to $3,000,000


$3,000,001 to $10,000,000


$10,000,001 to $50,000,000


$50,000,001 to $100,000,000


$100,000,001 to $200,000,000


$200,000,001 to $300,000,000


$300,000,001 to $450,000,000


$450,000,001 to $600,000,000


Commercial insurance must be purchased to cover the value of objects and appurtenances in an exhibition in excess of the amount indemnified under the Program. There is a limit of $600 million CDN coverage per exhibition and a limit of $100 million CDN per conveyance.

Describe any insurance, indemnification or other liability coverage that will apply to objects and appurtenances in the exhibition during the indemnification period requested, including the name(s) of insurance companies assuming liability for the deductible and amounts in excess of indemnification limits.

Previous losses (1.14)

Describe all losses or damage to objects and appurtenances over $5,000 that occurred at the premises of the venue(s) for which indemnity is being requested, whether or not an insurance claim was filed, during the three years prior to submitting this application. Include the following information for each case.

  • date of loss or damage
  • nature and cause of loss or damage
  • corrective measures that have been taken since the incident
  • the fair market value of each lost or damaged object both before and after the incident.

2. Assessment Criteria

The Government of Canada provides indemnity only for traveling exhibitions that maintain high museum standards in all aspects of planning, transit and installation. Experts evaluate statements in the application against the assessment criteria described below and make recommendations to the Minister through the Indemnification Program. Specific details are required and generic statements will render an application incomplete. There are two sets of criteria:

  • the anticipated cultural impact of the proposed exhibition, including significance, scholarship, education and marketing, to assure the greatest possible increase of knowledge and public access; and
  • technical measures to mitigate the risk of damage to, or loss of, indemnified objects or appurtenances. These relate to institutional facilities, packing and transportation, condition reporting, installation design, security measures, as well as levels, controls and monitoring of environmental factors, including temperature, relative humidity and lighting.

Cultural Impact (2.1)


Outline the cultural significance of the proposed exhibition in terms of its human, natural, artistic and / or scientific heritage.


Describe how this exhibition will contribute to scholarship and further knowledge and understanding about the theme of the exhibition. Indicate whether a catalog, any articles, papers, symposia or other scholarly publications and events are anticipated in connection with the exhibition.


Describe the educational programs associated with the proposed exhibition, how they will provide for educational involvement of schools, colleges, universities and the general public, and how your research will be shared with your audience.


Describe planned measures that assure the greatest number of people will be aware of the exhibition and will have access at each venue (targeted promotional activities, specific community outreach programs, advertising campaigns, package tours, Internet websites).


Describe the marketing strategy you will employ to ensure maximum awareness, develop new audiences and increase accessibility for special interest groups. Describe the tools you will use to determine the success of your marketing plan.

Technical Requirements (2.2 and 2.3)

Facilities Evaluation for Each Host Institution

Indemnification will only be provided to host institutions with approved facilities. Any significant changes in the facilities reports must be updated to remain valid.

Loan Agreements

An application is incomplete without a duly signed loan agreement. Host institutions must agree to adhere to all conditions specified in the loan agreement or obtain signed authorization from the lender to alter those conditions.

Condition Reporting

The application must confirm who will perform condition reports and indicate where condition reports will take place.

Indemnification will be initiated upon the first condition report completed when the object or appurtenance passes into the care and control of a participating Canadian institution. Confirmation that the condition report has been completed and is available must be submitted to the Program within 15 days after its creation. The applicant must also be prepared to submit the condition report, if so requested by the Program, from this period onwards.

Progressive condition reporting establishes the time, place, cause and extent of any loss or damage.

A final condition report is made immediately after unpacking the object or appurtenance when it is returned to the lender or otherwise passes out of the care and control of the participating Canadian institution. Condition reports will establish the basis for a potential claim.

The condition report must include the following information for each object and appurtenance:

  • accession number or other identifying number;
  • date of the examination;
  • where the condition examination was carried out and the report prepared;
  • the name of the examiner;
  • object description (title, measurements, material composition and method of construction);
  • condition description (including previous treatments, repairs or alterations);
  • methods of examination used and findings of the examination;
  • photographs; and
  • preservation requirements, e.g. conditions for storage, handling or exhibiting.

Submit any subsequent changes to the information provided below. The Program will not be responsible for loss or damage which results from unauthorized changes. If information on return transportation is not available, the Program may provide conditional approval for shipping until such time as satisfactory information regarding return arrangements is provided.

Dates and mode(s) of transportation

Provide the dates of all movement of objects from one location to another throughout the indemnification period, including points of transfer. Describe the mode(s) of conveyance to be used at all stages of the transportation process (land, sea or air). All overland vehicles must be climate controlled and equipped with air-ride cushioned suspensions, adequate load securing features and be accompanied by two drivers.

Name(s) of carriers

Provide the name(s) of the transportation company(ies) that will be employed during the period of indemnification. Transportation companies must have experience and a good track record in moving cultural heritage objects.


Provide details of where and when couriers will be employed.

Safety and Protection (2.3)

In Transit

Crating and packing must be carried out by experienced professionals using risk averse materials in the construction of crates and packing materials that will prevent damage from shock, vibration and environmental change during transit.

Crate and palette construction

Describe the materials and construction specifications of packing crates. Crate and palette construction materials must meet the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) guidelines and the prescribed treatment and certification requirements of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Packing materials

Describe what packing materials and methods will be used to minimize damage from shock and vibration. Outline the use of any incorporated shock and vibration monitoring devices.

Temperature and relative humidity stabilization

Describe measures undertaken and instrumentation used within crates to mitigate and monitor change in temperature and relative humidity.

Special precautions for exceptional and/or fragile objects

Describe special precautions to safeguard very large or heavy objects, glazed or multi-media objects, or objects executed in friable media.

Host Institution(s)
Acclimatization and crate storage

Describe arrangements for acclimatization of crated objects when the crates are moved from one environment to another. Describe the location(s) and conditions for crate storage and re-acclimatization after storage prior to repacking objects.

General exhibition strategy

Describe display materials and the general exhibition design, including the use of plinths, stanchions, barriers, vitrines, exhibition cases and security devices. Provide an installation floor plan of the exhibition.

Photography, video-taping and filming

Describe measures to prevent damage from equipment and overheating during any photography, videotaping or filming during the indemnification period.

Security (2.4)

In Transit

Indemnity cannot exceed $100 million CDN for all objects and appurtenances in any one means of conveyance.

Describe security measures during transit which address the following:

  • Confirm that all cargo enclosures will be locked. Indicate if and how they will be alarmed and who will have access to unlocking devices (keys or codes).
  • Confirm that each overland conveyance will have two drivers present at all times.
  • Confirm whether land transportation will be in dedicated single use conveyance. If shared transportation is used, describe security arrangements when other deliveries / pick-ups are in progress.
  • Confirm whether overland transportation will be non-stop. If transit is not non-stop, describe overnight security arrangements.
  • Describe the communications system between each conveyance and its home base. If more than one conveyance is required, outline the means of communication between conveyances. Indicate whether vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking transponders.
  • Outline the use of guards, armed guards or police escorts.
  • Outline arrangements, including personnel present, at Customs inspections when crossing international borders.
  • Describe back-up contingency plans in the event of vehicle mishap or incidents that will alter intended transit schedules.
  • Describe emergency measures in the event of vehicle breakdown, accident, fire, break-in or other mishap.
Host Institution(s)

Describe security measures which address the following concerning the proposed exhibition ateach host institution.

  • Security access systems in place.
  • Closed-circuit video systems and how they are monitored.
  • Security arrangements during loading, unloading, uncrating and re-crating, installation and take-down.
  • Security arrangements when crated objects and appurtenances will be in storage prior to installation and following takedown.
  • How objects will be monitored during normal public hours and outline additional security monitoring during exceptional public hours (e.g. openings, receptions, special tours and anticipated high attendance periods).
  • Access control procedures.
  • Monitoring and patrolling during silent hours when the exhibition is not open to the public.

Environmental Control (2.5)

Describe specifications regarding temperature, relative humidity and lighting ateach host institution. Specify how loan agreement conditions will be met or attach written permission from the lender to use other settings.

In Transit

Describe environmental controls and monitoring during transit addressing the following:

  • measures to buffer temperature change.
  • measures to buffer relative humidity changes within crates.
Host Institution(s)

Indicate actual settings to be used for objects in this exhibition. In particular, photochemical damage to light-sensitive objects is progressive and related to light intensity, ultra-violet content and length of exposure. Even low light levels over extended periods will cause irreparable damage and long-term mitigation of light damage to light sensitive objects will be assessed.

  • Procedures to verify that all objects and appurtenances, as well as crating, packing and palette materials, are free of insect and other pest contamination. INDEM is not liable for loss of or damage to an indemnified object or appurtenance due to or resulting from vermin;
  • Temperature set points, the number of degrees allowable above and below the set point and the allowable variation within a twenty-four hour period;
  • Relative humidity set points, the percentage allowable above and below the set point and the maximum allowable variation within a twenty-four hour period;
  • Maximum allowable light levels for each category of object;
  • Maximum allowable ultra-violet content per lumen;
  • Precautions undertaken for light sensitive materials (including composites constructed from materials of differing light sensitivities);
  • Measures to prevent photochemical damage caused by over-exposure of light sensitive objects (e.g. paper, textiles, inks, watercolours and dyes) which should not be exhibited for more than three months in a twelve-month period.

3. Other Information

Other relevant information (3.1)

Include any other information or supporting material that may be relevant for this exhibition.

Government of Canada (3.2)

On a separate sheet describe, if necessary, other applications for financial support from the Government of Canada concerning this travelling exhibition.

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