Library and Archives Canada (LAC) will continue to invest $1.5 million per year in this fourth year of the five-year Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP). This program aims to ensure that Canada’s continuing memory is documented and accessible to current and future generations by adopting a more collaborative approach with local documentary heritage communities. The DHCP will be delivered in the form of contributions, which are based on eligibility criteria.
Simplified Application Process
The DHCP has implemented a new simplified application process that will enable applicants to submit their applications and complete any requirements easily and securely through the new online portal.
Modified Project Assessment Criteria
Note: The Project Assessment Criteria have been revised slightly.
Public Acknowledgement of Financial Assistance
Recipients must publicly recognize, in both official languages, financial assistance received from the Documentary Heritage Communities Program of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). This financial assistance must be acknowledged in all advertising, promotional and program materials, public announcements, website and social media content, etc. LAC’s requirements for public acknowledgement of financial assistance have been incorporated into all contribution agreements with funded recipients. Failure to comply with the requirements described in the contribution agreement could result in the cancellation of funding. More information can be found by consulting the Guide on the Public Acknowledgement of Financial Assistance from Library and Archives Canada. Please note that all funding information is considered confidential until LAC has made a public announcement.
Interim and Final Assessment, and Financial Reports
All recipients must complete a Final Assessment and Financial Report by March 31, 2019. Should multi-year recipients not submit this report, they will not receive funding for subsequent years. Should recipients not submit this report, they will not be eligible for further funding cycles and may be asked to repay the contribution.
In addition, recipients that have been awarded large contributions are required to complete and submit the Interim Assessment and Financial Report by January 15, 2019, for approval, to receive the remainder of the 15% holdback. These documents are only available through the online portal, located under the 1.0 Eligibility Requirements tasks: 1.6 Interim Report and 1.7 Final Report.
I. General Information
The purpose of this document is to assist organizations in preparing an application for funding under the DHCP. Applicants are advised to read the guide in its entirety, and are encouraged to contact DHCP advisors prior to submission to ensure that their application packages are complete.
The application documents must be in English or French, or a combination of both official languages.
The following forms must be completed, along with the supporting documents listed in the Eligibility Requirements in the Online Application Portal:
- Application Form; and
- Project Budget Form.
Incomplete application packages will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible.
The deadline for submitting completed application packages is February 7, 2018, before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5). Proposals received after the deadline will not be accepted.
For any questions about this call for proposals, please contact a DHCP advisor by telephone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2018, before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5).
The following are key elements for consideration when developing projects and completing the application form.
- There are two contribution categories within the Program:
- Small contributions below $15,000 per project per funding cycle; and
- Large contributions between $15,000 and $100,000 per project per funding cycle.
- If an organization is party to more than one application submitted, or if previously approved projects have not yet been completed, the applicant must demonstrate the capacity to carry out multiple projects, and must indicate an order of funding priority.
- Recommendations for funding are based on merit, program priorities, available funding, regional representation, and whether the project contributes to the achievement of broader government objectives.
- All recipients must complete a Final Assessment and Financial Report by March 31, 2019. Should multi-year recipients not submit this report they will not receive the subsequent years’ funding. Should a recipient not submit this report, they will not be eligible for further funding cycles and may be asked to repay the contribution.
- In addition, recipients that have been awarded large contributions are required to complete and submit the Interim Assessment and Financial Report by January 15, 2019 for approval to receive the remainder of the 15% holdback.
II. About the Documentary Heritage Communities Program
The DHCP provides financial assistance to the Canadian documentary heritage community for activities that:
- increase access to and awareness of Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
- increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.
Incorporated and non-incorporated non-profit organizations can apply. Should a non-incorporated organization wish to apply, a letter of reference will be required from a recognized national association or its municipal/provincial/territorial government. Non-incorporated organizations are encouraged to partner with incorporated organizations. All incorporated applicants must provide proof of incorporation. Eligible organizations include the following:
- Privately funded libraries;
- Historical societies;
- Genealogical organizations/societies;
- Professional library and archival associations; and;
- Museums with an archival component.
Businesses, government institutions, museums without archives, and universities and colleges are ineligible to apply for funding under this call for proposals.
A non-profit organization that is administered by, or receives more than 50% of its regular annual operational funding from any level of government, is ineligible to apply for funding. However, First Nations Governments, Band Councils or Tribal Councils, and Inuit and Métis equivalent governing organizations are eligible to apply to the DHCP.
Please note that an ineligible applicant can participate and/or collaborate in a project submitted by an eligible applicant, by providing the latter with in-kind or financial assistance. However, an ineligible organization or collaborator cannot benefit financially from the contribution, nor can it be a co-applicant, named partner or third-party recipient.
Eligible Projects and Contribution Categories
Objective 1: Increase access to, and awareness of, Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings.
- Conversion and digitization for access purposes
- The development (research, design and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including travelling exhibits
- Collection, cataloguing and access based management
- Commemorative projects
Objective 2: Increase the capacity to better preserve and sustain Canada’s documentary heritage.
- Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes
- Conservation and preservation treatment
- Increased digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to day-to-day activities)
- Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity
- Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities
Financial assistance will be in the form of contributions for all eligible projects. Requested funding will be validated and may be modified following the review of projected expenses.
Funding decisions will be based on merit and approved eligible project criteria, and will be limited by the funding available, program priorities and regional representation.
There are two contribution categories within the Program:
A. Small contributions below $15,000
- Both incorporated and non-incorporated non-profit documentary heritage organizations can apply;
- Non-incorporated documentary heritage institutions require a letter of reference from a recognized national association or their municipal/provincial/territorial government;
- Ineligible for multi-year funding;
- 100% of funds provided at the beginning of the project; and
- The submission of the Final Assessment and Financial Report, by March 31, 2019, is mandatory to be considered eligible for further funding cycles.
B. Large contributions between $15,000 and $100,000
- Only incorporated non-profit documentary heritage organizations can apply;
- 15% of funds are retained until receipt and approval of the Interim Assessment and Financial Report due January 15, 2019;
- Advanced funding may be considered;
- Maximum level of support is $100,000 per project, per year;
- Multi-year funding will be considered;*
- Recipient may redistribute funding to one or more third parties;
- The submission of the Final Assessment and Financial Report, by March 31, 2019, is mandatory to be considered eligible for further funding cycles.
* All successful recipients from previous funding cycles who are incorporated will be eligible to apply for multi-year funding.
Financial assistance may be provided to organizations to cover the project costs such as the following:
- Eligible expenditures for general administration and travel costs combined may not exceed 20% of the contribution provided (does not apply to travelling exhibits or workshop delivery/attendance);
- Salaries and wages associated with a DHCP-funded project;
- Travel costs for staff working on DHCP-funded projects (consistent with the National Joint Council’s Travel Directive);
- Costs associated with consultants and/or elders, including fees and travel related to the project (consistent with the National Joint Council’s Travel Directive);
- Costs associated with the purchase and/or rental of equipment and software for the purpose of conversion, digitization, preservation and cataloguing;
- Costs associated with administration, shipping fees, promotion and communication expenses related to the project (excluding translation), as well as costs associated with the launch of the project and acknowledgement/visibility of the contribution provided by the Government of Canada;
- Administrative costs including, but not limited to, office supplies, long-distance telephone calls, postage, messenger services, photocopies and printing services;
- Staff and/or consulting costs associated with the evaluation of project results;
- Consulting costs associated with the translation of communication material produced as a result of the project, as well as for the development of Official Languages minority communities and Advancement of English and French (section 41 of the Official Languages Act);
- Insurance costs associated with a travelling exhibition;
- Training, competency and capacity development activities;
- Professional costs for conservation/preservation treatments; and
- Hospitality costs associated with project launches and small gifts (under $100) to elders for Aboriginal projects.
Project funding may not be used for salaries, wages, travel, material, supplies, capital assets and other costs related to the following:
- Ongoing operations (i.e., day-to-day activities) and maintenance costs including office space rent/lease, overall management, heating, and maintenance of systems/equipment;
- Acquisition of documentary heritage and activities related to the acquisition of documentary heritage;
- Hospitality, other than those exceptions listed in the section above;
- Capital expenditures (related to fixed assets);
- Development of project proposals or application under the DHCP or for other federal programs;
- Salaries paid to staff of any level of government;
- Any costs that would have been incurred had the project not been undertaken;
- Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and other benefits; and
- Taxes (for those organizations that are exempted or that may be reimbursed).
The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible projects) for this program is 100% of eligible expenditures. In the event that actual total government assistance to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, it will be necessary for LAC to adjust its level of assistance (and seek reimbursement, if necessary) so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.
Method Used to Calculate Contribution Amount
The Program will ensure that the contribution amount is provided at the minimum level required to support the achievement of the stated transfer payment program objectives and expected results. The Program uses benchmarks by activities, comparisons with similar projects, and recommendations from internal financial and subject matter advisors and the External Advisory Committee for the evaluation of the project budget.
To determine the eligible amount of funding, the following criteria will be considered to evaluate each proposal:
- Relevance and community engagement;
- Project planning and management;
- Budget analysis;
- Evaluation/expected outcomes;
- Organization’s capacity to deliver; and
- Risks associated with the proposed initiative.
In addition, the Program will ensure that the amount awarded is appropriate, given the other sources of funding provided to the recipient and the restrictions imposed by the current terms and conditions.
Recipients will receive the minimum level of funding required to enable the project to be undertaken; the maximum level of federal assistance to the recipient will be 100%.
The maximum level of assistance to be provided directly to a non-incorporated documentary heritage organization is $14,999 per project per fiscal year.
The maximum level of assistance to be provided directly to an incorporated documentary heritage organization is $100,000 per project per fiscal year.
Description of Payments
Organizations receiving small contributions will receive 100% of funds at the beginning of the project, and organizations receiving large contributions will be subject to a 15% holdback. To receive the balance of the contribution, recipients must submit an Interim Assessment and Financial Report. In the case of multi-year projects, recipients must submit a Final Assessment and Financial Report at the end of each fiscal year to receive the subsequent year’s funding.
The Program may provide advanced funding based on a demonstrated need, such as the recipient’s identification of cash flow requirements. Advance payments may be non-conditional (issued without receipt of a report), or conditional upon the receipt of a financial report and/or other report deemed relevant to the Program.
Recipients may redistribute funding to one or more eligible third parties, but must indicate the name, contact information and nature of work to be undertaken by third parties.
Other Relevant Programs
Applicants may consider the following list of federal programs for activities that are not funded through the DHCP:
III. Reaching Out to Official Language Minority Communities and Promoting English and French
The DHCP must ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to support the development of official language minority communities in Canada and to promote the full recognition, use and Advancement of English and French (section 41 of the Official Languages Act) in Canadian society.
Where the recipient’s activities address an audience comprising one of the two official language groups, or where the recipient’s activities could have an impact on the bilingual character of Canada, the DHCP must ensure that the funding agreement concluded with the recipient stipulates appropriate measures to be taken and includes the funding required to carry out these measures.
IV. Completing the Application Package
To be considered complete, all application packages for DHCP funding must include the following information, to be completed in the Online Application Portal:
- Application Form; and
- Project Budget Form.
Note: If an applicant submits more than one application, an order of priority must be indicated.
Applicants seeking funding for the subsequent phases of projects must include previously submitted copies of the Final Assessment and Financial Report when completing a new application.
Incomplete applications will not be assessed and will be considered ineligible.
Each section of the Project Budget Form must be completed and include detailed information. Applications with incomplete budget forms will be considered ineligible.
When preparing the budget sheets, please note the following:
- Total project revenues must equal total project expenses;
- For multi-year projects, budget items must be indicated in the fiscal year during which these expenses will be incurred;
- All contributions from the applicant, partners, and any other public and private sources must be clearly identified as revenues;
- Although the DHCP does not reimburse in-kind contributions, these must be declared in the total cost of the project to help determine the maximum financial contribution that LAC may provide; and
- An applicant’s contribution to the project of permanent and/or contracted staff, for which salaries, wages and benefits are paid, must be recorded as a cash contribution.
Please note that, at the end of the project, revenues from all government sources must not exceed 100% of total project expenses.
Project Evaluation Strategy
The project evaluation strategy is one of the criteria by which the project is assessed. The development of an evaluation strategy includes the identification of qualitative and/or quantitative performance measures, based on clearly articulated outcomes in line with project objectives. In addition, the selected sources of data, the collection methodologies and tools must be identified in this section of the application.
V. Application Assessment Process
Applicants are encouraged to work closely with DHCP advisors regarding queries, prior to submitting an application before the DHCP deadline. To be considered for funding, organizations must meet applicant and project eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package, including the Application Form, the Project Budget Form, and all supporting documentation as listed in the Eligibility Requirements in the Online Application Portal. Incomplete applications will not be assessed.
Applications are preliminarily reviewed and assessed by program staff and LAC financial and subject matter advisors. The DHCP External Advisory Committee then assesses the eligible applications and provides recommendations to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, who makes the final decisions. Funding decisions are made based on approved eligible project criteria, the merit of the projects, program priorities, regional representation and the availability of funds. Where an applicant is seeking funding for more than one project, the Program will consider the applicant’s capacity to undertake and manage multiple projects.
Project Assessment Criteria
Relevance and Community Engagement
- The project falls within the organization’s mandate/mission.
- The project responds to a demonstrated internal or external need.*
- The organization is relevant and plays a significant role in the documentary heritage community, as well as in the broader community.*
- The organization has clearly identified the relevance and benefits of the collection, learning events and/or proposed activities to the target audience.
Project Planning and Management
- The organization is capable of carrying out the project to its successful conclusion (evidence that human and financial resources are adequate).
- The organization demonstrates sound project management methods (provides timeline, milestones, deliverables and implementation plan).
- The project activities are outlined, and planned risk mitigation measures have been considered.*
- Forecast and timeline of expenditures and revenue of project are provided.
- The project received financial or other support from other sources.*
- The evaluation strategy is adequate to assess the success of the project.
- Outcomes (short- and long-term) are identified, clear and realistic.
Organization’s Capacity to Deliver
- The operating budget of the organization reflects fiscal responsibility (in other words, expenses and revenues are appropriate).*
- A sound and effective governance structure is demonstrated.*
* Applies only to large contributions: contributions between $15,000 and $100,000.
VI. Funding Conditions and Reporting Requirements
For a complete description of funding conditions, please consult the General Terms and Conditions of the Contribution Agreement. Please note the following:
- The decision of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada is final and not subject to review or appeal;
- Funding for a small contribution may not exceed $15,000 (per project per year) and funding for a large contribution may not exceed $100,000 (per project per year);
- A contribution agreement must be signed by both parties before LAC can provide project funding;
- Multi-year funding will be considered for large contributions for eligible and incorporated organizations that were successful recipients from previous funding cycles;
- Small contributions will receive 100% of funds at the beginning of the project, and large contributions will be subject to a 15% holdback until receipt and approval of the Interim Assessment and Financial Report;
- All recipients are required to complete the Final Assessment and Financial Report and submit it to LAC by March 31, 2019. Should recipients not submit the Interim Assessment and Financial Report, they will not receive the remainder of the 15% holdback, nor will they be eligible for multi-year funding in future cycles;
- In accepting public funding from LAC, all recipients are required to publicly acknowledge the financial assistance they receive as per the Guide on the Public Acknowledgement of Financial Assistance from Library and Archives Canada. All funding information is considered confidential until LAC has made a public announcement of the funded projects;
- At the end of the project, if total government assistance (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) exceeds 100% of the total project expenditures, the recipient shall repay any excess to the Receiver General of Canada; and
- The Librarian and Archivist of Canada reserves the right at any time during the term of the agreement, and for up to five years after the end of the agreement, to undertake an evaluation to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement.
An organization that submits an application for funding.
An organization responsible for maintaining records of enduring value (of individuals, families, or organizations or communities) and housing archival collections.
A review of a process or organization, in terms of compliance, accuracy and effectiveness, to ensure compliance with the terms and obligations of the contribution agreement.
- Business plan
A working tool for turning a strategic plan into reality. It provides a road map for board, staff and organizational partners, and may be used to attract particular private-sector funders (foundations, corporations or individual donors). Typical business plans project organizational growth for the next three to five years. They usually include financial projections and targets, the size of markets (actual and potential) and information on market trends. A business plan describes how the organization is accountable to the community, and its methods for monitoring and evaluating progress. A business plan may be incorporated in the organization’s strategic plan or may be presented as a separate document.
An organization that participates in a project by providing in-kind or financial assistance to an eligible organization’s project. If the collaborator/contributor is an ineligible organization, it cannot be a co-applicant, named partner to an eligible organization’s project or third party. A collaborator/contributor cannot benefit financially from a contribution.
An individual (or groups of individuals) with specialized knowledge and/or skills. A consultant is not part of an applicant’s staff, management or board, but is contracted for a fee to provide specific services to an organization.
- Contractual relationship
A legal relationship between two or more parties evidenced by a contract or appearing in other official business documents, such as an organization’s financial statements.
A transfer payment subject to performance conditions specified in a funding agreement. A contribution is to be accounted for and is subject to audit. The recipient will be required to report on results achieved.
- Contribution agreement
A legal document between a donor department and a contribution recipient that describes the obligations of each party.
- Documentary heritage
Publications and records of interest to Canada.
Documents related to the project and made available to the public, such as documentary heritage, catalogues, synopsis, brochures, pamphlets, etc.
- Genealogical association
An association that promotes the study of ancestry.
- Government institutions
Any department, organization or agency within the three main levels of government: federal, provincial/territorial and municipal.
- Historical society
An organization that seeks to preserve and promote interest in the history of a region, a period or a subject, typically focusing on a province or a community. It often has collections of artifacts, books and records.
- In-kind contribution
A donation to a project by an individual, business or organization of materials, goods, services or time that would otherwise have been paid for by the recipient. Such a contribution is provided without any expectation of compensation or remuneration. It involves non-cash asset transactions (for example, securities, land, buildings, equipment, and use of facilities, labour, and goods). To be eligible as an in-kind contribution, the donation must:
- be essential to the project’s success;
- represent an expense that would not otherwise be incurred and paid for by the recipient as part of the project;
- be mentioned in the recipient’s contribution agreement, documented and recorded in the recipient’s accounting books;
- be reasonably estimated at fair value on the date it is made, using either market value or an appraisal; and
- contribute to the total cost of the project but not be reimbursable, as no monies change hands.
- Key archival functions
Standard established practices in the main areas of collections-related activities within an archive or historical society, such as appraising, acquiring, conserving, preserving, converting, digitizing, and providing access to documentary heritage through exhibits.
- Key library functions
Standard established practices in the main areas of published materials within a library, such as acquisition, conservation, research, collections information management, exhibitions and education.
- Letter of intent
Written statement presented by an interested organization to the applicant institution or partner organization, acknowledging serious intent, willingness and ability to enter into a formal agreement. The letter should include a brief description of the project and the nature of the collaboration between the two institutions, including financial considerations and the timeline for implementing the project. The document does not constitute a definitive contract; it is subject to due diligence and fulfillment of certain conditions.
- Letter of reference
Written statement presented by a recognized national association or its municipal/provincial/territorial government to Library and Archives Canada acknowledging the capacity and ability of the applicant to undertake a proposed project. The letter should include a brief description of the applicant and the nature of its work in the community.
An organized collection of published materials, including books, serials, sound and video recordings, and other formats.
- Museum with an archive
A museum with a significant archival component, or a museum and archive that are a single institution.
- Operational expenses
Cash expenses paid by an organization in return for goods or services that are not instrumental to the project. These expenses are ineligible for funding.
A group of people with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships (corporation, association, institution, etc.).
Results of an effort to attain a goal. They are the external effects or consequences of the project that are considered significant in relation to its initial commitments. Outcomes must be measurable and may occur within organizations, communities and individuals. They may relate to behaviour, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, conditions or other attributes. While there is less degree of control over outcomes, there should be a direct relationship between outputs and outcomes.
Most immediate results of a project. Outputs are the direct products or services produced and delivered to a target group or population, such as an exhibition, the preservation, digitization/conversion and access to a collection, a workshop or seminar, etc.
A partner must be a documentary heritage organization that meets the Program eligibility criteria, and that agrees to pool efforts and resources with others to achieve a common objective while keeping its independence. Organizations are not recognized as partners unless they contribute directly in cash or in-kind to the accomplishment of the project.
- Performance measures
Indicators that provide qualitative and/or quantitative information needed to measure the extent to which a project is achieving its intended outcomes. Qualitative data can be expressed in terms of change or comparison between two states, while quantitative indicators can be in the form of a ratio, percentage, comparison or figure.
- Privately funded libraries and archives
A non-profit library or archive, funded privately, receiving less than 50% funding from any level of government.
- Professional associations
Incorporated bodies that represent the interests of archivists, librarians, historians, authors or information managers and/or that are dedicated to their professional development.
A set of activities or functions that a recipient proposes to undertake with the financial assistance provided by a department. A project has a clear start and end date, occurs within a reasonable period of time, and demonstrates measurable outputs and outcomes.
An organization that receives financial assistance.
- Stacking limit
The maximum level of total Canadian government funding authorized by the terms and conditions for a transfer payment program for any one activity, initiative or project of a recipient.
- Strategic plan
A written document that clearly describes an organization's mandate, its short-, mid- and long-term goals or objectives, and priority actions to take. A strategic plan includes a time frame for its execution, and identifies the part of the organization or the outside agent that will take responsibility for the completeness of the actions necessary to realize the goals and objectives.
- Third Party
An eligible organization that receives funding from a recipient for undertaking a specific role or service in a project.
- Travelling exhibition
Type of exhibition that is available for circulation to one or more venues in addition to the premises of the organizing archive/library.
For More Information:
The Documentary Heritage Communities Program
Telephone: 819-997-0893 or
1-844-757-8035 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or
1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
Library and Archives Canada
The Documentary Heritage Communities Program
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4