Application Guidelines – Youth Take Charge Program

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Objectives and expected results for the Youth Take Charge Program

The Youth Take Charge Program aims to strengthen youth attachment to Canada through engagement. In this context, youth is defined as individuals between 7 and 30 years of age.

We support youth-led projects that include activities in one or more of four thematic areas:

Arts and culture
Engages youth in Canada's arts and culture. This encompasses a diverse range of activities, creations and modes of expression, including music, theatre, literature, film, new media, sculpture and paintings.
Civic engagement and youth service
Engages youth in individual and collective actions designed to identify and address Canadian issues of public concern. This can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation.
Economic activities
Engages youth in the economic sphere of Canadian life. This strengthens their attachment to Canada through activities focused on Canadian entrepreneurship, trade and economic growth.
History and heritage
Engages youth in significant events, places, people or artefacts from Canada's past; and/or, accounts of diverse traditions that have had, and still have, an influence on the lives of Canadians.

Our expected results include:

  • Youth are aware of the importance of being an active and engaged citizen
  • Youth are engaged in communities
  • Youth-serving organizations are relevant to youth

Application deadline

The application intake is now closed.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, you must be:

  • a Canadian registered not-for-profit organization;
  • a Canadian registered charitable group; or
  • an Indigenous representative organization.

In addition, you must:

  • have a minimum of three years of experience in serving youth on a significant national or provincial/territorial scale. This engagement is defined by a number of factors, such as:
    • geographic reach: your activities reach beyond your immediate regional community;
    • demographic impact: you directly engage a significant number of youth on an annual basis;
  • have adequate security and safety policies and procedures in place demonstrating nature and length of experience in delivering youth programs.

For-profit entities; governments (federal, provincial/territorial or municipal administrations), Crown corporations or other federal institutions; and public or parapublic groups or organizations (e.g. schools, colleges, universities, school boards, public libraries) are not eligible.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding, your project must:

  • meet the objective and contribute to the Program's expected results by actively encouraging youth engagement through events, programs or activities to:
    • strengthen youth attachment to Canada;
    • provide opportunities for youth to participate in their community; and
    • involve youth in collaborative activities.
  • directly engage a significant number of youth (aged 7 to 30);
  • be youth-led (youth play a significant role in design, delivery and evaluation of the project);
  • propose activities in one or more of the Program's thematic areas;
  • use information and communication technologies as engagement tools; and
  • demonstrate cash and/or in-kind support from community partners and other sources.


  • projects consisting of activities that primarily take place outside of Canada;
  • activities of a primarily religious nature or that advocate for specific political parties;
  • projects with a budget that forecasts a deficit;
  • projects with costs primarily related to the creation and/or maintenance of a web site; and
  • projects or other activities for which support is received under the Exchanges Canada Program.

Eligible expenses

We will only fund project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value; these may include:

  • promotion and communication;
  • youth participant training;
  • volunteer support;
  • travel, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business;
  • hospitality fees;
  • professional consultant fees directly related to project delivery;
  • artists and performers;
  • event / venues;
  • special measures expenses related to accessibility for youth participants with disabilities; and
  • administration expenses.

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 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).

Funding for administration expenses will be limited to a maximum of 15% of total project funding.

Ineligible expenses include:

Capital expenses (purchase of equipment and/or furniture, cost related to a contingency fund, acquisition of land, building, vehicle); operating expenses of your group; purchase and/or commission of items produced for commercial purposes; and alcoholic beverages.

We cannot fund expenses incurred before the application deadline. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.


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

The Youth Take Charge Program is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed available resources. Even if you are eligible, submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization, the private sector or other levels of government.

The amount received from the Youth Take Charge Program and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of the total eligible project-related costs.

We (federal government including Youth Take Charge) can typically fund up to 75% of eligible expenses.

We can fund up to $500,000 per fiscal year. However, given the number of eligible projects received, the Program expects to grant annual funding between $20,000 and $100,000 per project.

You can submit multiple project proposals, but each proposal must meet all requirements of the Program.

Applying for more than twelve months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than one fiscal year. You must then 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.

Requesting funding for multiple years does not guarantee potential funding over more than one year.

How to apply

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

Organizations must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding.

A complete application package includes the following:

  • General Application form (signed by a person 18 years of age or older with signing authority for the organization);
  • Application Questionnaire;
  • Anticipated Demographic Distribution Form;
  • Budget; and
  • Supporting documents listed in the Document Checklist: Conflict of interest disclosure; letters patent and documents of incorporation; organization's charity status (if applicable); Bylaws; Financial Statements for last three years; Current Board of Directors; Organizational Chart; Letters of financial or in-kind support; Signing authorization; security plan; proof of insurance.

Presenting a detailed application does not guarantee funding.

Application process

You are invited to contact us to determine the eligibility of your organization and project before submitting an application.

To submit your application:

  • Complete, sign and date the General Application form;
  • Attach all required supporting documents;
  • Submit your application package electronically at the following email address:
  • Include the name of your organization and the name of the project in the title of the email.

The embedded "sent" date must be no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your application to be considered.

If you are unable to send your application package by email, please contact us:

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Funding decisions are based on the number and quality of applications received for each application deadline. Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the criteria below.

Your application will be evaluated by a Review Committee who will compare it with other applications and prioritize it in relation to the funds available. A committee of representatives from departments across the federal government will be also consulted to provide advice and seek potential collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage.

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 the rejection of your new application.

Evaluation criteria

We will evaluate all eligible applications using the following criteria:

  • Program's objective, expected results, thematic areas and program priorities;
  • Youth-led (youth play a significant role in design, delivery and evaluation of the project);
  • Reach of the project (number of youth directly engaged);
  • Scale and demographic diversity of the project, including:
    • participation of youth from different provincial/territorial communities; and
    • participation of under-represented groups, including but not limited to: Indigenous youth, visible minority youth, youth with disabilities, and youth from rural or isolated regions;
  • Use of information and communication technologies as tools for increasing youth engagement in the project;
  • Your ability to provide access to participants in both official languages and include participants from official language minority communities;
  • Track record and demonstrated ability to manage the project;
  • Reasonableness of the project budget; and
  • Level and variety of cash and/or in-kind support from community partners and other sources.

Funding priority may be given to projects supporting at least one of the following priorities:

Brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in dialogue and action, and/or highlights Reconciliation themes.
Diversity and inclusion
Brings together different socio-economic and ethnic groups of young Canadians, including youth from visible minority communities, new Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and youth with disabilities.
Official language minority communities
Engages mainly youth from Anglophone communities residing in Quebec or youth from Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.

Application processing time

For 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. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt within this time, you must contact us.

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 to your organization 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 will be included in the funding agreement.

Anti-racism and anti-hate

Canadian Heritage is committed to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and create environments where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered. We strive to challenge discriminatory beliefs and practices, cultivate understanding and empathy, and champion policies and programs that advance equality for all.

Organizations receiving funding, including any representatives whether employees, consultants, or other persons directly affiliated with the organization, must take steps to ensure they respect the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

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 or in your funding agreement.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publically acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from us 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.

Audit 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:

1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Analysts are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage


Attachment to Canada
Knowledge of and appreciation for Canada's diversity, as well as shared values and common interests, leading to identifying oneself as belonging to Canadian society.
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.
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.
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.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities are First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Information and communication technologies
This refers to electronic means of communication that encourage engagement and linkages between groups or individuals and which include, but are not limited to, social networking websites, text messaging, computer generated presentations and video conferencing.
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.
Official language minority community
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Security and safety policies and procedures
Documents outlining measures you take to ensure the safety and security of all youth participants in the project. They should demonstrate that you adequately address the risks inherent with the project and your experience and capacity in delivering projects for youth. These can include organizational documents, but must demonstrate clear link to proposed activities.
For the purpose of the Youth Take Charge Program, youth are individuals generally between 7 and 30 years of age.
Youth engagement

The meaningful participation and sustained involvement of youth in an activity, with a focus outside of him or herself. The kind of activity in which the youth is engaged can be almost anything – the arts, music, volunteer work, politics and social activism – and it can occur in almost any kind of setting. Not all youth engaged in a project will be involved to the same extent or in the same way.

A youth who is directly engaged in a project may be involved in a leadership role (e.g. planning, implementing, or evaluating activities) or they may be called upon to participate actively (e.g. contributing to an activity through their own work or ideas).

A youth who is indirectly engaged will have a more passive role (e.g. attending a workshop or performance in order to learn or experience something new).

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