National arts service organizations

Becoming a registered national arts service organization is a two-step process.

1.  Designation by the Minister of Canadian Heritage that the applicant is considered a national arts service organization (NASO). To qualify for this designation, the applicant must:

  • be a non-profit organization
  • have as its purpose (object) the promotion of the arts on a nation-wide basis
  • demonstrate that it represents in one or both official languages of Canada, the community of artists in one or more recognized sectors of the arts

2.  Registration by the Minister of National Revenue (Canada Revenue Agency). To qualify for registration, a national arts service organization must:  

  • be created and be resident in Canada
  • be formally designated as a NASO by the Minister of Canadian Heritage
  • be formed and operated exclusively to promote the arts on a nation-wide basis
  • meet prescribed conditions similar to the criteria necessary to be registered as a charitable organization

The activities of a national arts service organization must be confined to one or more of the activities listed in Regulation 8700 of the Income Tax Act.

Organizations need only submit the application for designation / registration to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Once the organization qualifies for designation, the Minister of Canadian Heritage will inform the organization and forward the necessary documentation to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for registration consideration. 

Note 

In order to become registered by the CRA, the organization must ensure that its purposes and activities are exclusively for the promotion of the arts on a nation-wide basis and are indicated as such on its application / registration form.

Only once the organization has been granted registration by the CRA is it allowed to issue official donation receipts. A registered national arts service organization is considered a registered charity for operating purposes. For more information, go to Operating a registered charity

To apply for designation and registration, go to National Arts Service Organization Designation.

For a list of registered national arts service organizations, go to the Charities Listings - advanced search and select "Registered National Arts Service Organization (RNASO)" from the dropdown Category list.

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