Official Symbols in Partnering Activities

These technical specifications (T-505) set out the requirements for the use of the official symbols in the acknowledgement of the Government of Canada and external partners in all communications with the public about joint or sponsored partnering activities. Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator for more information.


  1. The Government of Canada's participation, financial or in-kind, in a joint or sponsored activity is acknowledged by using the Canada Wordmark, the Government of Canada signature, a departmental signature, a text credit, or a combination of these.
  2. The Canada Wordmark or the Government of Canada signature is used when a joint or sponsored activity involves two or more Government of Canada departments. Individual departments and programs may be named when participant roles, responsibilities or contributions are described in detail.
  3. The symbols of all parties are displayed equally and accurately and reproduced according to the principle of "fair acknowledgement".
  4. Black and white symbols are used when accurate official colour reproduction cannot be achieved.
  5. Specifications for protection zone, colour and contrast apply to all products.

Partnering agreements

The terms and conditions of agreements provide for the visual acknowledgement of the Government of Canada. The following standard clause contains all of the required visual acknowledgement elements for such agreements:

  • [The recipient] shall, in all public communications (including but not limited to websites, publications, news releases, presentations, reports, advertising, paid announcements, expositions and project signage), acknowledge the financial contribution of the Government of Canada.
  • [The recipient] shall consent to a form of acknowledgement that has been approved by the Minister or his/her representatives and that may include text and official Government symbol(s). [The recipient] shall consent to limit the acknowledgement to applications agreed upon and remove the acknowledgement upon the request of the Minister or his/her representatives.
  • [The recipient] shall cease acknowledging the Government of Canada, including all uses of official Government symbols, upon the expiration of this agreement, unless otherwise specified.

It is the department's responsibility to provide the approved form of acknowledgement and to ensure it is used according to the terms of the agreement. The department's FIP Coordinator or Communications Branch should be consulted to ensure the correct graphic files are provided. Legal services should be consulted on clauses used in all legal agreements.

Principle of "fair acknowledgement"

In the context of the Federal Identity Program, "fair acknowledgement" refers to the measure of credit or visual acknowledgement given to a department that is participating in a collaborative initiative — or has provided a grant or contribution — in all related public communications. The term "fair" pertains to the relative and equitable prominence of acknowledgement between participants, and based roughly on individual financial or in-kind contributions. The term "acknowledgement" generally means the display of an official identifying symbol without additional tag lines, promotional text or brand elements. A qualifying text generally accompanies the official symbols describing the institutions as sponsors, participants, contributors or funding organizations. Fair acknowledgement applies to all participants in an initiative to which the Government of Canada is a contributor, regardless if it is a government initiative or one that is initiated by an external non-Government of Canada organization.

Related information

Note: If there is a discrepancy between an official Treasury Board policy instrument and information on this Web page, the Treasury Board policy or standard prevails.

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