Apply for Listen, Hear Our Voices funding: Step 1. Overview

Current status: Closed

Please note that the application period is now closed. Project proposals are currently being reviewed. We expect to announce funding decisions in late winter 2021.

Step 1. Overview

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is providing funding to support Indigenous communities in their efforts to:

  • digitize existing Indigenous culture and language recordings
  • build the skills, knowledge and resources needed to digitize and preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings

What are culture and language recordings?

Culture and language recordings are oral and audiovisual recordings that are important to Indigenous peoples. For example, traditional stories or oral histories recorded on cassette or VHS tape. The recording may be in any language if the community determines that the content is culturally significant.

What kind of project can be funded?

  • Digitization of recordings

    For example:

    • Digitize culture and language recordings from formats such as audio cassette, reel-to-reel, VHS tape and video cassette
    • Prepare recordings for digitization by creating an inventory of your collection or prioritizing recordings in danger of being lost
    • Describe and organize recordings in their digital and/or original formats
    • Develop a business case for a shared digital preservation system
  • Training

    For example:

    • Train staff on digitization
    • Create training materials to build digitization skills
    • Develop and run a training program to help communities digitize their own collections
  • Equipment

    For example:

    • Buy or repair audiovisual digitization equipment
    • Purchase software to digitize audiovisual recordings
  • Funding cannot be used to:
    • Acquire or create new recordings
    • Digitize or share material without appropriate rights and/or permissions
    • Digitize photos, books or other published material
    • Create books, articles or other products related to Indigenous culture and language materials

Important notice

Another funding opportunity is available to Indigenous organizations seeking support to preserve local documentary heritage through projects other than those related to the digitization of existing Indigenous culture and language recordings. Consult the Documentary Heritage Communities Program web page for more information, or to apply.

What kinds of expenses can be funded?

  • Eligible costs include:
    • Digitization by your organization, a partner or a third-party
    • Consultants and professional services related to digitization
    • Purchase, rental or repair of equipment or software to digitize and preserve material
    • Description, transcription and development of finding aids
    • Shipping and insuring material
    • Salaries and wages to finish your project
    • Training and workshop activities
    • Travel for project staff (must follow the National Joint Council's Travel Directive)
    • Honorariums and small gifts to Indigenous Elders
    • General administration costs such as office supplies, long-distance telephone calls, postage, project management fees, messenger services (This cannot be more than 20% of the funding we provide)
  • Ineligible costs include:
    • Day-to-day operations and maintenance such as office space rent/lease, management, heating, etc.
    • Entertainment and gifts
    • Developing applications for funding programs
    • Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and other benefits
    • Taxes
    • Expenses that took place before signing the contribution agreement with Library and Archives Canada

Review committee and criteria

An Indigenous review committee will assess applications and make recommendations for funding. This committee will be external to LAC and made up by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation representatives from across Canada.

The review committee will base funding recommendations on:

  • Project feasibility and approach
  • Urgency of the work due to the condition of the collection
  • Benefits of the project for the applicant organization, partner organizations, communities, researchers and/or Canadians

Note: All committee members are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement. Any member in real or potential conflict of interest with regard to the review process is required to disclose the conflict and will be removed from participating in the review of the application in question. All enquiries about applications or the review process should be addressed to the Listen, Hear Our Voices team at

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