2017–18 Departmental Results Report

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Library and Archives Canada, 2018
Catalogue No. SB1-12E-PDF
ISSN 2560-9092

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Minister's Message

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez

In 2017, Canada 150 celebrations gave rise to projects and activities all across the country. Over the course of that landmark year, the organizations in the Canadian Heritage portfolio—including Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—invited Canadians to learn more about their culture and heritage, to reflect on their future, and to journey down the path of reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. In keeping with their own mission, they also promoted Canadian creativity in a digital world, as well as the vitality of our official languages and Indigenous languages and cultures.

As part of the portfolio, LAC contributed to Canada 150 celebrations by providing people all across the country with many opportunities to express their pride in being Canadian—whether online, during memorable events, or exhibitions showcasing their rich history and documentary heritage. LAC also digitized more than 10 million pages of documents, archived websites of historical interest, and made more than 10 million pages of government documents available to the public. This expanded access to their heritage lets Canadians have a better understanding of who they are and where they come from, both as individuals and collectively. In addition to expanding access to our national shared memory, LAC has enriched its collection while creating and maintaining collaborations with Indigenous communities, as well as documentary heritage communities in Canada and elsewhere in the world.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, I am pleased to present the 2017–18 Departmental Results Report for Library and Archives Canada. This report offers an overview of what LAC has accomplished, and demonstrates its ongoing efforts to build a society in which diversity is a strength and everyone is able to contribute in a respectful and inclusive atmosphere.

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Librarian and Archivist of Canada’s message

Dr. Guy Berthiaume

For Library and Archives Canada (LAC), 2017–2018 was a unique opportunity to celebrate and showcase our rich resources. The 150th anniversary of Confederation allowed us to show that we could surprise even the users who know us best. Through our public programming, we provided access to our collection that was worthy of its riches.

We also introduced new technologies in all the areas of our activity, truly making LAC a living laboratory for the exploration of our heritage.

One of the most significant achievements presented in this report builds on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report: thanks to Budget 2017, we put in place two initiatives to preserve Indigenous languages and cultures. I am very proud to note that these initiatives are implemented in consultation with the Indigenous Advisory Circle that we created for this purpose.

Following extensive consultations with the Canadian library community, LAC launched Voilà, the new online National Union Catalogue. Voilà will provide Canadians with simplified access to resources in hundreds of libraries across the country; it represents a milestone in our library renewal project.

In terms of our geographic presence, all of our regional service points became fully operational this year, at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax and at the Vancouver Public Library, and at the updated consultation spaces at LAC’s Winnipeg office.

2017–2018 was a year of many more achievements: the #OnThisDay historical capsules published daily on social media; in January 2018, the second Summit on the value of libraries, archives and museums, an initiative to increase collaboration between memory institutions; and the launch of Co-Lab, a crowdsourcing tool that allows users to tag, describe, transcribe and translate historical documents in our collection. Each of these innovations was designed to meet the needs of Canadians.

But none of these explorations would have been possible without our partners, including memory institutions (museums, libraries and archival services), academia, professional associations, charitable institutions and, of course, our fellow portfolio agencies within Canadian Heritage.

Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Results at a glance

Funds used

Actual expenditures


Actual Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)

Results highlights

  • In 2017–18, LAC launched two new major initiatives to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages and cultures with funds allocated under Budget 2017. The first initiative will focus on digitizing documents in the LAC collection on First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The second will offer Indigenous communities the support and expertise needed to preserve recordings of Indigenous languages.
  • To support national activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of Confederation, LAC produced #OnThisDay historical capsules that were published daily and viewed by over 10 million people. It also worked with partners to present a wide variety of events and exhibitions, enabling Canadians to discover their rich heritage and gain more self-knowledge in the process.
  • LAC launched Voilà, the new National Union Catalogue library management system. This is a milestone in implementing the new system for managing its published heritage collection.

For more information on LAC’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, the mandate of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is as follows:

  • to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • to serve as a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
  • to facilitate in Canada co-operation among the communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is responsible for Library and Archives Canada.

Mandate and role

LAC’s mandate to manage Canada’s documentary heritage rests on three pillars:

1. Acquiring and processing documentary heritage

LAC is responsible for acquiring documentary heritage of historical value and that shows developments in various areas of activity within Canadian society over the years. The LAC collection contains documents created and published in Canada and abroad that is of interest to Canadians and stored in various formats. To add to its collection, LAC pursues the mandate assigned to it under the Act as well as various mechanisms that include donations and acquisitions.

2. Preserving documentary heritage

LAC is responsible for preserving its collection to ensure that it stands the test of time and remains accessible to future generations. This responsibility rests on the expertise of its employees who specialize in preservation, on its processes of migration and digitization of content, and on the quality of LAC’s infrastructure.

3.   Providing access to Canada’s documentary heritage

LAC’s responsibilities regarding access consist of facilitating searches and consultation of its collection so as to inform and enhance the knowledge of those who consult it. LAC provides access to its documentary resources by:

  • providing the public with digital content and online services;
  • providing on-site services at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa and at its service points in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver; and
  • contributing to exhibitions that enable the public to discover LAC collections in communities, museums and cultural sites across Canada.

For more general information about LAC, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report. For more information on the organizational commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

LAC continues its efforts to better serve Canadians by pursuing the four priorities identified in its Three-Year Plan 2016–2019. The Government of Canada’s priorities also affect the organization’s operations. Notably, the 150th anniversary of Confederation gave LAC an opportunity to highlight various aspects of Canadian identity, drawing on the treasures in its collection to present public exhibitions and activities.

At a time when reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is a key priority of the Government of Canada, LAC obtained funding in Budget 2017 to help digitize Indigenous documentary heritage in the collection and to archive Indigenous language recordings by their communities. To carry out these two initiatives, which will help preserve and preserve traditional Indigenous cultures and languages, LAC connects with Indigenous peoples on the basis of respect, trust, integrity and recognition of rights.

The Government of Canada also has openness and transparency as its priority. To contribute to the Open Government initiative, LAC makes its collection available to as many people as possible, and proactively lifts restrictions on access to federal government documents.

As part of government-wide initiatives to support wellness in the workplace, along with diversity and inclusiveness, LAC implemented a three-year workplace wellness strategy for 2017–2010.

LAC accelerated the pace of its shift to digital technology by continuing its digitization initiatives and collaborating with partners and clients. Examples of innovation in this area include the transcription of Lady Agnes Macdonald’s diary through crowdsourcing, and digitization of articles in the LAC collection by volunteers through DigiLab.

Key risks

LAC has developed a corporate risk profile for 2015–2018 that identifies strategic and corporate risks, assesses potential impacts, and determines measures to reduce these risks. LAC’s corporate risk profile and the 2017–18 Departmental Plan identify strategic risks that may have a direct impact on the fulfillment of its mandate. The following section provides a description of key risks and their respective contexts. The planned mitigation strategies and progress made on each one are set out in the table below.

1. Risk that Canadian documentary heritage of national interest is not acquired

Given the ever-increasing quantity of information created through new technologies and the speed at which this information can disappear, LAC runs the risk of not acquiring all Canadian documentary heritage of national interest.

2. Risk that documentary heritage is not preserved for current and future generations

LAC must ensure the integrity and long-term accessibility of information resources acquired. The integrity of the material can be compromised by a variety of external risk factors, such as deterioration over time and with use, and obsolescence, of technologies used to consult certain formats. The loss of technical expertise and the lack of adequate storage space are internal risk factors.

3. Risk that documentary heritage is not accessible to Canadians

Despite technological advances and Canadians’ desire to access online content, much of LAC’s collection is on paper or in other analogue media. The time and effort needed to digitize it so it is discoverable, and then to make it available online, are such that LAC must target its efforts to digitize content and make it available.

Key risks
RisksMitigating strategy and effectivenessLink to the department’s ProgramsLink to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities
1. Risk that Canadian documentary heritage of national interest is not acquired
  • Implement the 2016–2019 Acquisition Strategy to focus acquisition efforts in the areas of published heritage, Canadian government records and private archives.
    • Acquisition selection covers topics related to Indigenous peoples, Canada’s regional diversity, cultural diversity, Francophone culture, minority voices and gender issues.
Program 2.1Diversity is Canada’s strength
2. Risk that documentary heritage is not preserved for current and future generations
  • Implement the long-term infrastructure strategy to meet future preservation needs.
    • LAC is continuing plans to build a new preservation facility (Gatineau 2) and optimize the vaults in the existing Preservation Centre.
  • Pursue efforts to migrate analogue documentary resources at greatest risk to sustainable digital formats.
    • LAC has migrated 180,805 hours of audiovisual content since 2009.
    • As a new mitigation measure, LAC launched its Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program to ensure that all digital documentary heritage collections are preserved in a sustainable manner.
Program 2.2LAC Priority 2
3. Risk that documentary heritage is not accessible to Canadians
  • Increase access to documentary heritage through digitization projects that make the content most often requested available online.
    • As of March 31, 2018, LAC had digitized and made available 87% of Canadian Expeditionary Force files.
    • LAC began implementing the initiative to digitize the Indigenous documentary heritage in its collection.
  • Collaborate with partners in the documentary community to expand access to the collection.
    • LAC has organized many exhibitions in co-operation with the documentary heritage community.
  • Continue delivering services by a variety of means.
    • LAC continued to deliver services in person, by telephone, by mail or online, and it renewed its service offerings in Halifax and Vancouver.
    • LAC developed a five-year action plan on access issues.
  • Renew the AMICUS database, a catalogue of documentary resources in hundreds of Canadian libraries.
    • LAC used the services of the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a non-profit co-operative, to develop Voilà, the new National Union Catalogue.
Program 2.3

Results: what we achieved


Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations


To enable effective recordkeeping within federal institutions, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) issues disposition authorizations. These authorizations specify the records that must be transferred to LAC at the end of their active use based on their historical importance. Other records are disposed of by the creating institution at the end of their retention period.


In 2017–18, LAC successfully provided all federal departments and agencies subject to the "Library and Archives of Canada Act" with full, up-to-date disposition coverage, by providing 39 additional disposition authorizations. This coverage will allow them to dispose of documents that no longer have business value.

Before proceeding with disposition activities for all of its documents, each department or agency must meet the applicable requirements of the statutory framework and obtain a validation report. To this end, LAC has developed a multi-year validation plan. One validation objective is to enable organizations to readily identify documents of archival value for transfer to LAC at the appropriate time. Of the 175 organizations subject to the Act, 38 have fully met, and 12 have partially met, the validation requirements of their disposition authorizations.

To provide more support for effective, efficient and responsible recordkeeping in the federal public service, LAC reviewed the guidelines on generic evaluations of documents produced in four fields of activity often found in many, if not all, government institutions: communications, legal services, management and oversight, and transfer payments. These revised guidelines allow archivists to save valuable time in the evaluation process by using a standardized approach that is both flexible and uniform.

LAC continued its discussions with federal institutions not subject to the Act to ensure that best practices are applied in recordkeeping. The organization worked with the House of Commons, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and the Federal Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board to negotiate agreements to transfer documents with archival value.

Results achieved
Expected resultsPerformance indicatorsTargetDate to achieve target2017–18 Actual results2016–17 Actual results2015–16 Actual results
A regulatory regime is established across the Government of Canada so that government information may be managed and disposed of appropriatelyCumulative percentage of federal government institutions supported by a full and up-to-date disposition coverage100%March 31, 2018100%78%64%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)
Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
(actual minus planned)

Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records


In collaboration with central agencies, federal departments and agencies, and other stakeholders, LAC plays a lead role in developing standards, tools and best practices for information management and recordkeeping.

LAC helps federal institutions to manage their information resources by:

  • providing advice on recordkeeping and records management to central agencies, other federal institutions and intergovernmental committees;
  • preparing and delivering training and awareness sessions to federal public servants through seminars and forums on recordkeeping;
  • establishing networks in the Government of Canada information management community; and
  • supporting the efforts of federal libraries and their respective departments.


In 2017–18, LAC continued to support federal departments and agencies by providing them with advice and training, and conducting awareness activities on information management and the application of disposition authorizations. For example, LAC worked closely with the Canada School of Public Service to develop an information management training program for federal government employees. LAC also created a space on the GCconnex networking and professional collaboration platform for discussion, information sharing and advice on best practices in long-term preservation. In addition, LAC collaborated with Public Services and Procurement Canada and Treasury Board Secretariat to configure the GCdocs document management and electronic document system, especially regarding the metadata to be included with all electronic transfers of digital governmental documents to LAC.

As planned, LAC held a learning activity on best practices and trends in the information management (IM) field. Together with Treasury Board Secretariat, LAC co-directed the Government of Canada IM symposium in May 2017. This symposium attracted 353 participants on site and 168 participants through WebEx; they represented 92 federal departments and agencies. Information sessions were also offered to 13 departments concerning multi-institutional disposition authorizations.

In 2017–18, Archives Branch’s Liaison Centre received and processed 670 requests covering a range of topics, including disposition practices, recordkeeping, training, documentary resource transfer and online tools.

Results achieved
Expected resultsPerformance indicatorsTargetDate to achieve target2017–18 Actual results2016–17 Actual results2015–16 Actual results
Increased capacity and level of readiness to manage Government of Canada’s information effectivelyPercentage of federal government institutions that participated in an event on recordkeeping60%March 31, 201860%60%68%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending
(authorities used)
(actual minus planned)
Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual 2017–18 Difference (actual minus planned)

Program 2.1: Acquisition and processing of documentary heritage


This program includes all activities undertaken to identify, evaluate, acquire and process Canada’s documentary heritage for current and future generations.

LAC’s collection consists of published and unpublished documentary resources in a variety of media and formats, both analogue and digital. LAC’s acquisitions are governed by legislation in the following ways:

LAC also acquires records of historical value created by individuals, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to constitute a collection that is representative of Canadian society.

Processing of documentary heritage includes appraisal to support selection, arrangement, description and contextualization of documentary heritage. It results in databases, catalogue indexes and other tools that help users to locate LAC’s documentary resources.


In 2017–18, LAC continued to expand its collection by acquiring documentary heritage commemorating our past and present. One hundred and eleven (111) private archival fonds were added to the collection, including the archival holdings of Sears Canada and the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association. Some of the archives acquired in 2017–18 consist of additions to existing holdings, like the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs fonds.

Regarding publications, LAC acquired 24,109 new titles and 82,327 periodicals through legal deposit; it also received 215 donations. These publications include many rare and precious documents, including the only known copy of a page published in 1822 by Newfoundland’s first printer, John Ryan. LAC also acquired, thanks to a gift from the Friends of LAC, a book written by Philippe-Louis-François Badelard entitled "Direction pour la guérison du mal de la Baie St. Paul" (Québec, 1785), one of the first medical texts published in Canada.

As well, LAC expanded its collection with a few musical treasures, including one of the first recordings by Canadian company Berliner Gram-o-phone. This recording of the vesper hymn "Iste Confessor", sung by Canadian baritone Joseph Saucier, dates back to January 1900. LAC also acquired a recording by Henry Burr and the Sterling Trio playing "My Dixie Rosary", recorded for the Aeolian Vocalion record company in 1920.

In 2017–18, LAC archived 16 additional terabytes of web resources, including websites, videos, print and media content as well as blogs. These archives consist primarily of federal, provincial and territorial government websites. They also include a large number of resources related to the centennial of the First World War, the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. LAC also launched its Truth and Reconciliation Commission Web Archive collection of over 400 resources.

During the Ontario Library Association Conference in Toronto on February 1, 2018, LAC launched Voilà, its new National Union Catalogue with an intuitive interface and search functions allowing users to find published documents in hundreds of Canadian libraries. Voilà constitutes a milestone in implementing the new library management system, hosted by the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) co-operative.

After evaluating the Legal Deposit Regulations, LAC produced a policy on collection development for published heritage, and it created an outreach strategy to increase the participation rate of Canadian publishers in legal deposits. In terms of archives, LAC contacted 68 prospective donors to prepare its private archives outreach strategy, for inclusion in the new five-year approach (2019–2024) for the acquisition of private archives. LAC also updated its policy instruments on acquiring and processing these kinds of archives. The Directive on the Official Language of Description was implemented during the year; it helps to make its private-archive holdings discoverable in both official languages.

Results achieved
Expected resultsPerformance indicatorsTargetDate to achieve target2017–18 Actual results2016–17 Actual results2015–16 Actual results
Library and Archives Canada acquires and processes documentary heritage effectivelyPercentage of publications acquired since April 1, 2017, processed (described) before April 1, 2018100%March 31, 2018101.7%table 8 note *N/AN/A
Table 8 Notes
Table 8 Note *

The result exceeds 100% because descriptions were produced for published titles acquired before 2017–18.

Return to table 8 note * referrer

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)

The difference between the planned expenditures of $9.6 million and total usable authorizations of $13.4 million results from funding received to acquire, process, preserve and make available the private records of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, and funding granted for negotiated salary adjustments.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual 2017–18 Difference (actual minus planned)

Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage


LAC manages a vast collection of materials in a wide variety of formats, both digital and analogue, to ensure its long-term preservation and accessibility. Preservation activities are divided into several categories:

  • those related to the physical management of the collection, such as circulation and storage;
  • those involving restoration and conservation, to help prevent the deterioration of documents, and to repair damage;
  • those associated with reproduction and the making of replacement copies to ensure the preservation and availability of records that would otherwise be too fragile to be accessed; and
  • management activities and the implementation of innovative strategies to ensure the integrity and authenticity of digital documentary heritage resources, as well as their current and long-term accessibility.

This program also includes the management of the special-purpose buildings under LAC’s control: the Preservation Centre in Gatineau, the Nitrate Film Preservation Facility, the Collection Storage Facility, the Renfrew Archives Centre and the Manitoba Region Service Centre.


In 2017–18, LAC continued its planning for a new preservation facility (known as “Gatineau 2”), scheduled to open in 2021. In the fall of 2017, LAC announced the launch of its public-private partnership procurement process. The identity of the consortium responsible for the construction and maintenance of the new building will be known in 2019.

In terms of managing digital documentary heritage, LAC launched the Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program in November 2017. The strategy aims to equip LAC with a program and the infrastructure needed to ensure that, by 2024, all of its digital collections are preserved in accordance with its mandate.

Regarding digital government archives, LAC developed a work plan to automatically collect digital documents from other federal departments and agencies. LAC acquired a component of its digital conservation platform, a digital content management system for published heritage, and is working on configuring this system in anticipation of tests scheduled throughout the 2018–19 fiscal year.

In the Audiovisual Migration Strategy, established in 2009 in response to the challenges of preserving audiovisual recordings over the long term, LAC proposed to migrate, to digital media over 10 years, the 180,000 hours of recordings at risk of becoming obsolete. This 10-year objective was reached, and surpassed, a year earlier than planned.

LAC also restored a wide range of documents in its laboratories, including books, photographs, maps, manuscripts, works of art on paper, and paintings. In 2017–18, 9,756 hours were spent working on documents for exhibition in museums and other public places.

Results achieved
Expected resultsPerformance indicatorsTargetDate to achieve target2017–18 Actual results2016–17 Actual results2015–16 Actual results
The LAC collection is safeguarded for current and future generationsCumulative percentage of at-risk audiovisual material migrated from an obsolete to a current digital file format90%March 31, 2018100%83.5%66%
Annual increase of new digital content preserved (includes both born-digital and digitized documents)20%March 31, 201864% of target reachedtable 10 note *76% of target reached44%
Table 10 Notes
Table 10 Note *

The target shortfall results from the fact that LAC invested in renewing the server room and upgrading software required to meet growing digital preservation needs.

Return to table 10 note * referrer

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)

The difference between the planned expenditures of $40.5 million and total usable authorizations of $38.7 million results from a realignment of authorities within other programs, based on the spending plan. However, the funding granted for salary adjustments negotiated reduces this difference. The difference between total usable authorizations of $38.7 million and actual spending of $36.5 million results from an amount carried forward to fund implementation of LAC’s long-term infrastructure strategy.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual 2017–18 Difference (actual minus planned)

The difference between the number of full-time equivalents planned and actual full-time equivalents results from hiring staff to meet growing digitization needs for preservation purposes.

Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage


This program provides access to original and digital versions of LAC collections, making them known and available through consultation and reproduction services, as well as loans to other institutions. These services are available at various locations across Canada, in person, online and through other means.

LAC promotes access to its collection through public programming made up of exhibitions and events led by LAC, or carried out in collaboration with other institutions.

LAC also expands access to its collections by developing web pages that include contextual information and databases, as well as by increasing the amount of documentary heritage available online through digitization. LAC provides access to government records in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Finally, the Documentary Heritage Communities Program provides financial contributions to help Canada’s documentary heritage institutions facilitate access to their collections, and increase their capacity by preserving them in a sustainable manner.


In 2017–18, LAC renewed its service offerings in two Canadian cities. Its new service point in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax opened in June 2017, while its new service point in the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch opened in November 2017. The creation of these two cultural centres in high-traffic areas increases the visibility of Canada’s documentary heritage. This new energy is also evident in the activities jointly organized with the museum and the public library, our new partners. Given the strong regional demand for records on claims, treaties and Indigenous issues, services related to these documents are provided in a nearby location adjacent to the Vancouver Public Library. The role of our third regional office, in Winnipeg, has also changed. To improve access to the approximately 11.5 km of archives, on-site reference services have been upgraded: clients now have a self-serve kiosk equipped with all of LAC’s online tools, and the reading room has been enlarged. Approximately 3,000 clients were served at LAC’s three regional service points in 2017–18, an increase of 48% over 2016–17.

Project Naming has been in operation for 16 years now; through crowdsourcing, it works to identify people and places with ties to Indigenous communities. The project earned international recognition this year, winning the 2017 innovation award at the 8th Francophone libraries’ Livres Hebdo Grand Prize in Paris.

In 2017–18, LAC increased its efforts to preserve Indigenous cultures and languages with funding provided in Budget 2017. Two new initiatives were created, one to digitize Indigenous content in the collection and the other to preserve Indigenous oral archives. In implementing these projects, LAC created an Indigenous Advisory Circle, which met for the first time in March 2018. Paying attention to the perspectives and advice of its members will guide LAC in preserving Indigenous heritage more effectively, and in making it accessible in a historically accurate and culturally acceptable manner.

As part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS), LAC consulted national experts to identify best practices in newspaper digitization. LAC then digitized three series of Indigenous newspapers ("Windspeaker", "Ha-Shilth-Sa" and "Turtle Island News"), a total of more than 1,600 issues. The project was made possible through funding from the Salamander Foundation. LAC manages the secretariat, which supports the NHDS steering committee, and it developed a prototype research tool that currently contains 4,500 objects from three Canadian organizations.

In 2017–18, LAC digitized 151,454 Canadian Expeditionary Force files. As of March 31, 87% of the records were available online. LAC should therefore meet its commitment to finish the project in time for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

In January 2018, LAC launched the beta version of the integrated collection search tool for its website. This unique search tool provides access to the entire LAC collection. In 2017–18, seven databases were indexed, including the two largest (AMICUS and MIKAN). The public already has access to most of the collection through this dynamic search tool.

LAC continued its contribution to Canada's New Plan on Open Government 2016–2018 by making more than 1.7 million pages available under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Under these two Acts, LAC received 11,432 requests; 95% of the requests were processed in accordance with service standards (30 business days). Furthermore, with the block review of archival holdings, over 10 million pages were made available during this fiscal year, for an overall total of more than 35 million pages since block review was introduced.

In the 2017–18 fiscal year, BAC offered 45 events across the country, thanks to the many partnerships with regional and national organizations: book launches, exhibition openings, film screenings, open houses, conferences, etc. For example, in collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada, LAC invited three Indigenous authors to share their opinions on ways of combatting adversity and strengthening resilience. LAC also held eight book launches, several in partnership with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the University of Ottawa and the Council of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection. During open houses on June 9 and 10, 2017, over 1,800 people visited the vaults of the LAC Preservation Centre in Gatineau. The event was so successful that LAC now conducts guided visits of the Centre once a month in both official languages.

As part of the activities to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, LAC employees created 16 exhibitions showcasing Canada’s rich documentary heritage. Examples include the Canada: Who Do We Think We Are? exhibition at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa and the travelling exhibition Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation in the Archival Records of Library and Archives Canada. LAC also exhibited in two new spaces designed for displaying its collections. In the “Library and Archives Canada Treasures” hall at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, visitors could explore the exhibition Moments from 150 Years Ago; in the second space, at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the exhibition The Artist's Mirror: Self Portraits is on view until January 6, 2019. In support of national Canada 150 activities, LAC also loaned out more than 300 items from its collection.

LAC now has a working group that helps to expand Wikipedia articles, which has earned it a monthly average of 27 million views. Views of the LAC Blog and Flickr account have increased by 25% and 15% respectively. Over the year, the number of subscribers increased by 47% on Twitter, 23% on Facebook and 40% on YouTube. Between October and December 2017, three Twitter chats allowed the virtual community to put questions directly to LAC specialists as well as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

For the third year in a row, LAC contributed $1.5 million in support of 48 projects (38 of them new) across the country through its Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP). For example, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives non-profit organization was able to process and describe two major collections of national importance; as well, the Musée des ondes Emile Berliner museum of sound created a publicly available online catalogue with over 500 images and 100 audio files, showing changes in sound recording and the development of the audio industry in Canada.

LAC established new partnerships with universities and documentary heritage institutions; it signed new memoranda of understanding with Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, as well as with the national archives of Mexico. LAC also hosted or organized several events with its partners, including the Decolonization Forum and the second Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums Summit. In June 2017, as a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), LAC gathered its partners and staff in Gatineau for a working session on the major IFLA Global Vision initiative, to discuss current and future challenges for libraries.

Results achieved
Expected resultsPerformance indicatorsTargetDate to achieve target2017–18 Actual results2016–17 Actual results2015–16 Actual results
Improved access to Canada’s documentary heritageAmount of material downloaded by clients on LAC's website10 million filesMarch 31, 201810.1 million files10.2 million files11 million files
Percentage of access-to-information requests that have been responded to within established service standards100%March 31, 201895%97%92%
Percentage of Documentary Heritage Communities Program recipients that have met their objectives85%March 31, 201896%N/AN/A
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)

The difference between the planned expenditures of $30.9 million and total usable authorizations of $38.7 million results from the funding received to support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages and cultures, and funding granted for negotiated salary adjustments. Furthermore, authorizations from other program activities were realigned, specifically the capitalization of salary expenditures related to application development.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual 2017–18 Difference (actual minus planned)

Information on LAC’s lower-level programs is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services


Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs, and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories: Management and Oversight; Communications; Legal Services; Human Resources Management; Financial Management; Information Management; Information Technology; Real Property; Materiel Management; and Acquisition Services.


Under Blueprint 2020, activities in the 2017–18 fiscal year supported employee engagement and recognition. For example, LAC staff joined forces during open-house activities: 120 employees welcomed visitors at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa and the Preservation Centre in Gatineau. LAC relies on a dedicated staff of specialists with a wide range of skills, perspectives and experiences. To decompartmentalize practices, promote exchanges and support specialists, LAC held many discussion and conference sessions. These gatherings provided a special time and place for personal development among peers, to keep informed about new trends. These professional development opportunities were complemented by awareness activities on Indigenous realities, mental health, burnout prevention and informal conflict resolution.

LAC also held activities to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. For example, LAC organized a diversity and inclusion month, with interactive discussion sessions. Five themes were covered: diversity, equity and justice in the workplace, self-identification, an inclusive workplace, and respect in the workplace. To promote an inclusive workplace and support its employees’ development, LAC also introduced the “Take Me with You” initiative in 2017–18, which encourages managers to take employees to their meetings so employees learn more about how priorities are established and decisions made.

In 2017–18, LAC pooled its efforts with Shared Services Canada to renew the technology infrastructure and computer applications required to maintain LAC’s digital activities.LAC also made progress on implementing technology security measures to protect Internet systems and Government of Canada information. LAC also introduced automated record classification and transferred 26,000 files from the existing electronic records management system to GCdocs. In addition, LAC developed a business capacity model to ensure optimal harmonization of its operational activities, capacities and technological systems. This will make it possible to set priorities for developing and replacing technological applications.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities available for use
Actual spending (authorities used)
Difference (actual minus planned)

The difference between the planned expenditures of $27.5 million and total usable authorizations of $36.1 million results from the funding eligible for retroactive payments concerning previous fiscal years and the fiscal year in progress with respect to negotiated salary adjustments. Furthermore, authorizations from other program activities were realigned according to the spending plan.

Human resources (full-time equivalents or FTEs)
2017–18 Planned 2017–18 Actual 2017–18 Difference (actual minus planned)

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Figure 1. Organizational spending trend (dollars)
Organizational spending trend, see text version below
Figure 1: Organizational spending trend (dollars) – text version
Fiscal yearsTotalVotedStatutorySunset programs – anticipated

The graph above shows the trend in expenditures by LAC, in dollars, over a period of six fiscal years, from 2015–16 to 2020–21 (three actual spending fiscal years and three planned spending fiscal years).

The increase in spending starting in 2016–17 results from the transfer by Public Services and Procurement Canada to support the long-term infrastructure strategy of LAC relating to the transfer and the consolidation of special-purpose storage facilities.

The increase in spending in 2017–18 results from expenditures concerning retroactive payments from previous fiscal years for negotiated salary adjustments.

Spending in 2019–20 includes a substantial payment for the construction of a new building for the preservation of analogue archival documents in Gatineau, Quebec. However, depending on the project’s progress, this payment will most likely occur in the 2020–21 fiscal year.

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services2017–18 Main Estimates2017–18 Planned spending2018–19 Planned spending2019–20 Planned spendingtable 18 note *2017–18 Total authorizations available for use2017–18 Actual spending (authorizations used)2016–17 Actual spending (authorizations used)2015–16 Actual spending (authorizations used)
Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations3,315,9293,315,929N/AN/A3,511,8593,499,7863,698,3702,636,780
Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records3,307,9483,307,948N/AN/A3,544,4623,494,7833,788,1934,797,139
Program 2.1: Acquisition and processing of documentary heritage9,649,8809,649,880N/AN/A13,416,13812,411,88610,919,08513,525,770
Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage40,469,01740,469,017N/AN/A38,732,20836,515,84735,770,23613,905,973
Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage30,934,97730,934,977N/AN/A38,671,68136,822,32132,694,62225,694,772
Internal Services27,541,46427,541,464N/AN/A36,108,00634,672,12627,630,13230,891,178
Table 18 Notes
Table 18 Note *

 In 2018–19, LAC transitioned from its Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture, required under the previous Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structure, to a Departmental Results Framework, which is required under the new Policy on Results.

Return to table 18 note * referrer

In 2017–18, the difference of $18.8 million beween planned spending of $115.2 million published in the 2017–18 Departmental Plan and total authorizations of $134 million results primarily from additional funding received during the fiscal year, including:

  • an increase of $6.9 million related to the operating budget carry-over and capital budget carry-over;
  • an increase of $6.5 million related to financing eligible for retroactive payment of previous fiscal years and the fiscal year in progress in relation to negotiated salary adjustments;
  • an increase of $2.6 million to support the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures;
  • an increase of $1.7 million to acquire, process, preserve and make accessible the private documents of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper;
  • an increase of $0.4 million to transfer management of a parcel of land located in Gatineau to the Parks Canada Agency;
    • an increase of $0.4 million to support the acquisition, access and preservation of Canadian sound recordings from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services2015–16 Actual 2016–17 Actual 2017–18 Planned 2018–19 Actual 2018–19 Plannedtable 19 note *2019–20 Actual
Program 1.1: Development of disposition authorizations28413937N/AN/A
Program 1.2: Collaboration in the management of government records59444439N/AN/A
Program 2.1: Acquisition and processing of documentary heritage143113112120N/AN/A
Program 2.2: Preservation of documentary heritage148165131171N/AN/A
Program 2.3: Access to documentary heritage311328340343N/AN/A
Internal Services224212241231N/AN/A
Table 19 Notes
Table 19 Note *

In 2018-19, LAC transitioned from its Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture, which were required under the previous Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structure, to a Departmental Results Framework, which is required under the new Policy on Results.

Return to table 19 note * referrer

Expenditures by vote

For information on Library and Archives Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017–2018.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of LAC’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

LAC’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018, are available on LAC’s website.

Financial statements highlights

The highlights presented in this section are taken from the LAC financial statements and were prepared according to the accrual method. The financial statements were prepared in accordance with the Government of Canada’s accounting policies, which are based on the Canadian public sector accounting standards.

Differences between figures shown in other sections of the report, developed according to an expense-based method, and the figures presented below, based on the accrual accounting method, results from accounting entries such as the accounting of services provided free of charge by other departments, the acquisition of capital assets and related depreciation charges, as well as adjustments made to the charges payable.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information2017–18 Planned results2017–18 Actual2016–17 ActualDifference (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)Difference (2017–18 actual minus 2016–17 actual)
Total expenses129,338,043142,933,437128,349,32913,595,39414,584,108
Total revenues215,000405,514393,949190,51411,565
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers129,123,043142,527,923127,955,38013,404,88014,572,543

The difference in total charges planned in 2017–18 and the actual total results firstly from retroactive payments following the renewal of collective agreements. LAC also obtained additional funding during the year for new projects, such as the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures, as well as the acquisition, processing, preservation and dissemination of the records of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial Information2017–182016–17Difference (2017–18 minus 2016–17)
Total net liabilities21,529,21619,805,1781,724,038
Total net financial assets13,625,02613,571,30953,717
Departmental net debt7,904,1906,233,8691,670,321
Total non financial assets91,477,92185,735,0295,742,892
Departmental net financial position83,573,73179,501,1604,072,571

The increase in net liabilities results primarily from amounts received from various outside parties in 2017–18. These amounts are set aside for specific projects, with charges to be incurred in future fiscal years.

The increase in the net value of non-financial assets results from improvements to special-purpose storage facilities and the future construction of a new preservation facility (known as “Gatineau 2”). These investments will be expensed according to their useful life.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

Institutional head: Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Ministerial portfolio: Department of Canadian Heritage

Enabling instrument: Library and Archives of Canada Act, S.C. 2004, c. 11

Year of incorporation: 2004

Reporting framework

LAC’s Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2017–18 are shown below.

1. Strategic Outcome: Government information is managed to support government accountability

  • 1.1. Program: Development of disposition authorizations
  • 1.2. Program: Collaboration in the management of government records

2. Strategic Outcome: Canada's documentary heritage is preserved and accessible to current and future generations

  • 2.1. Program: Acquisition and processing of documentary heritage
  • 2.2. Program: Preservation of documentary heritage
  • 2.3. Program: Access to documentary heritage

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on LAC’s website:

  • Evaluations
  • Fees
  • Status report on transformational and major Crown projects
  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions,rals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information


550 De la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec  J8T 0A7
Telephone: 613-996-5115
Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-578-7777
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699
Facsimile: 613-995-6274

550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec J8T 0A7
Telephone: 613-996-5115
Facsimile: 613-995-6274

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical approach used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. Examples of GBA+ processes include using data disaggregated by sex, gender and other intersecting identity factors in performance analysis, and identifying any impacts of the program on diverse groups of people, with a view to adjusting these initiatives to make them more inclusive.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
Management, resources and results structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
prioritiy (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s) or Departmental Results.
program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program alignment architecture ( architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
result (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

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