Documentary Heritage Communities Program Guidelines 2019–2020

October 18, 2018 – Please note that we have made some modifications to the 2019-2020 DHCP Guidelines. Major changes include:

  • New maximum funding amounts for:
    • Small contributions: Now below $25,000 per project for up to two years
    • Large contributions: Now between $25,000 and $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years
    • Additional support for organizations located in remote areas:
      • small contributions up to $29,999 per project
      • large contributions up to $60,000 per project, per funding year
  • Amendments to the list of eligible organizations to be more inclusive
  • Criteria used to assess the proposals

Please consult the relevant sections of the guidelines for more details on these changes.

I. About the Documentary Heritage Communities Program

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) invests $1.5 million annually through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP; "the Program"). The 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. LAC delivers the DHCP in the form of contributions, which are based on eligibility criteria.

Objectives

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 organizations and their holdings
  • increase the capacity of local documentary heritage organizations to better sustain and preserve Canada's documentary heritage

Key considerations

The following are key elements for consideration when developing projects and completing the application form:

  • The Program offers two contribution categories:
    • Small contributions below $25,000 per project for up to two years; and
    • Large contributions between $25,000 and $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years.
  • If an organization is party to more than one application submitted, or if it has not yet completed previously approved projects, the applicant must demonstrate the capacity to carry out multiple projects and indicate an order of funding priority.
  • All recipients are required to submit an Interim Report through the online portal by October 25, 2019. Recipients of large contributions ($25,000 and over) first receive only 85% of their annual contribution award. They are required to submit the Interim Report for approval to receive the remaining 15% holdback.
  • All recipients must submit a Final Report through the online portal by April 15, 2020. Should recipients not submit this report, they will not be eligible for future funding cycles and may be asked to repay the contribution. Should recipients of multi-year contribution awards not submit the Final Report, they will not receive funding for subsequent years.

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.

II. Eligibility

Eligible applicants

Local documentary heritage organizations eligible to apply to the DHCP are non-profit organizations with a mainly local or regional focus that hold collections of primarily local or regional significance. They can be incorporated or non-incorporated and include the following:

  • Libraries
  • Archives
  • Historical societies
  • Professional library and archival associations
  • Genealogical organizations/societies
  • Organizations with an archival component
  • Indigenous organizations and Indigenous government institutions

Should a non-incorporated organization wish to apply, LAC requires a letter of reference from a recognized national association or its municipal, provincial or territorial government. LAC encourages non-incorporated organizations to partner with incorporated organizations. All organizations must provide proof of non-profit status. In addition, incorporated applicants must provide proof of incorporation (for example, Letters Patent, Certificate of Continuance, Certificate of Incorporation, a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency). In addition, incorporated applicants must provide proof of incorporation (for example, Letters Patent, Certificate of Continuance, Certificate of Incorporation, a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency).

Note: Organizations applying to the DHCP must own the documentary heritage collections for which they seek funding. Furthermore, artifacts or objects (statues, globes, medals, etc.) are not eligible items under the DHCP.

Ineligible applicants

Businesses, government institutions, organizations without archival components, publicly funded libraries, universities and colleges are ineligible to apply for funding under this call for proposals. This also applies to otherwise eligible organizations that do not own the documentary heritage collection for which they have developed a project and are seeking funding.

Finally, 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 under this call for proposals.

Please note that an ineligible applicant can still 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 financially benefit from the contribution, nor can it be a co-applicant, a named partner or a third-party recipient.

Eligible projects and activities

Objective 1: Increase access to, and awareness of, Canada's local documentary heritage organizations and their holdings.

  • Conversion and digitization for access purposes
  • 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 of local documentary heritage organizations to better sustain and preserve Canada's documentary heritage.

  • Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes (including interviews to capture oral history)
  • 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

Examples of eligible and ineligible projects/activities

Eligible projects or activities (examples)

Please note that the following list is non-exhaustive.

  • Collection, cataloguing and access-based management
  • Conservation and preservation treatment (for example, restoration of books or documents)
  • Conversion and digitization for access and/or preservation purposes
  • Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities
  • Development (research, design and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including travelling exhibits
  • Documentary heritage conference
  • Increasing digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to the applicant's ongoing operations)
  • Oral history: conducting interviews, preservation of and access to born-digital records
  • Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity

Ineligible projects or activities (examples)

Please note that the following list is non-exhaustive.

  • Acquisition activities, or creating a new documentary heritage collection with items that are not (yet) in the organization's possession
  • Activities related to a documentary heritage collection that is not in the applicant's custody
  • Clearing backlogs of received materials, which the applicant organization would normally process as part of its ongoing operations
  • Creation of a book, magazine, theatre script or other product related to or featuring documentary heritage
  • Digitizing a documentary heritage collection for which the organization does not have the copyrights
  • Oral history: making a documentary
  • Renovating a building
  • Taking photographs of artifacts (for example, statues, medals, art objects)

Eligible contribution categories

LAC provides financial assistance in the form of contributions and may modify the requested funding amount following a review of projected expenses.

The program offers two contribution categories:

A. Small contributions below $25,000

  • Both incorporated and non-incorporated, non-profit documentary heritage organizations can apply
    • Non-incorporated documentary heritage organizations require a letter of reference from a recognized national association or their municipal, provincial or territorial government
  • The maximum level of support is $24,999 per project
  • LAC will consider multi-year funding for up to two years and a total of $24,999 Footnote1
  • LAC provides 100% of funds at the beginning of the project Footnote2
  • Recipients are required to submit the Interim Report by October 25, 2019
  • Recipients are required to submit the Final Report by April 15, 2020

B. Large contributions between $25,000 and $50,000

  • Only incorporated non-profit documentary heritage organizations can apply
  • LAC will provide 85% of the annual contribution at the beginning of the project and hold back 15% until receipt and approval of the Interim Report, which is due on October 25, 2019
  • LAC may consider advanced funding
  • LAC provides a maximum level of support of $50,000 per project, per funding cycle for up to three years
  • LAC will consider multi-year funding (for up to three years, total of $150,000)Footnote1
  • Recipients may redistribute funding to one or more third parties
  • Recipients must submit the Final Report by April 15, 2020
Summary of eligible contribution categories
Summary of Categories A. Small Contributions B. Large Contributions
Maximum funding per funding cycle $24,999 $50,000
Multi-year funding option available? Yes Footnote1 Yes Footnote1
Maximum duration of multi-year projects 2 fiscal years 3 fiscal years
Maximum funding for multi-year projects $24,999 $150,000

Additional support for organizations located in remote areas

Since the cost of living and doing business in remote areas is higher, the Program offers a higher level of support to applicants located in remote areas.

By this, LAC means an organization that is located 80 kilometers or more from the nearest established community with a population of at least 1,000 people. In addition to this definition, DHCP applicants may consult the Canada Revenue Agency's list of locations included in prescribed zones to help determine their eligibility as an "organization in a remote area."

Maximum level of support for eligible organizations
Additional Support for Organizations in Remote Areas A. Small Contributions B. Large Contributions
Maximum funding per funding cycle $29,999 $60,000
Multi-year funding option available? Yes Footnote1 Yes Footnote1
Maximum duration of multi-year projects 2 fiscal years 3 fiscal years
Maximum funding for multi-year projects $29,999 $180,000

Eligible expenditures

LAC may provide financial assistance for projects to cover the following costs:

  • Expenditures for general administrative and travel costs, which combined may not exceed 20% of the contribution provided (this does not apply to travelling exhibitions or workshop delivery/attendance)
  • Travel costs for staff working on DHCP-funded projects (consistent with the National Joint Council's Travel Directive)
  • Salaries and wages associated with a DHCP-funded project
  • 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
  • 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-language 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
  • Hospitality costs associated with project launches and small gifts (under $100) to elders for Indigenous projects

Ineligible expenditures

LAC does not provide project funding for salaries, wages, travel, material, supplies, capital assets and other costs related to the following:

  • Ongoing operations (day-to-day activities), including clearing backlog (materials received that have not yet been processed), with the exception of materials related to a special project not part of regular operational plans
  • Maintenance costs including office space rent/lease, overall management, heating, and maintenance of systems/equipment
  • Acquisition of documentary heritage and related activities
  • Creation of documentary heritage content (for example, books or documentaries)
  • 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
  • Taxes (for those organizations that are exempted or that may be reimbursed)

III. Assessment

Application assessment process

To be considered for funding, applicant organizations must meet eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package, including the Application Form, the Project Budget Form, the Project Timeline Form and all supporting documentation as listed in the Application Checklist in the online portal. LAC will not assess incomplete applications.

DHCP advisors and LAC subject-matter advisors review and assess applications received for eligibility and feasibility. The DHCP External Advisory Committee then assesses the eligible applications for their relative merit and makes related recommendations to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, who makes the final funding decisions.

The DHCP assessment process is guided by the Program's objectives, LAC's priorities and broader government objectives. In addition, this year's funding call focuses on strengthening the networks of local documentary heritage communities across Canada.

LAC bases its funding decisions on project eligibility, the merit of the projects, program priorities, available funding and regional representation. Where an applicant is seeking funding for more than one project, LAC will consider the applicant's capacity to undertake and manage multiple projects.

Project assessment criteria

Relevance and community engagement

  • The project clearly aligns with DHCP objective(s)
  • The project responds to a need (internal or external) demonstrated by the applicant organization Footnote3
  • The organization is relevant and plays a significant role in the documentary heritage community, as well as in the broader community (for example, by playing a leadership role, or by collaborating or working in partnership with organizations in remote areas or official-language minority communities) Footnote3
  • The project is relevant and has a significant impact in the documentary heritage community, as well as in the broader community (for example, by fostering collaboration or sharing outcomes such as knowledge or resources with organizations in remote areas or official-language minority communities) Footnote3
  • The organization clearly identifies the relevance and benefits of the project (for example, collection, learning events and other activities) to its 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 organization clearly outlines the project activities and planned risk mitigation measures
  • The project incorporates innovative design and/or delivery elements that contribute to achieving the expected results

Budget analysis

  • The organization provides a forecast and a timeline of expenditures and revenues of the project
  • The project receives financial or other support from other sources Footnote3

Evaluation/expected outcomes

  • The applicant's project evaluation strategy is one of the criteria by which the project is assessed. An evaluation strategy includes clearly identified qualitative and/or quantitative performance measures, based on clearly articulated outcomes in line with project objectives. In addition, applicants must identify the selected sources of data, the collection methodologies and tools in the Project Evaluation section of their application form and in the Project Timeline Form
  • The organization has identified (short- and long-term) outcomes, which are 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)
  • The organization demonstrates a comprehensive and effective governance structure Footnote3

Risks Associated with the Proposed Initiative

  • There are no known risks associated with the applicant organization, partner organization(s), or the proposed initiative, that are identified as barriers to the success of the project

IV. Financial assistance

Funding conditions

For a complete description of funding conditions, consult the General Terms and Conditions of the Contribution Agreement. Please note the following:

  • The funding decision of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada is final and not subject to review or appeal.
  • LAC provides financial assistance in the form of contributions and may modify the requested funding amount following a review of projected expenses.
  • Funding for a small contribution may not exceed $24,999 per project, with the option of multi-year funding over two years (total of $24,999).
  • Funding for a large contribution may not exceed $50,000 per project, per funding cycle, with the option of multi-year funding for up to three years (total of $150,000).
  • Multi-year funding will be considered for small and large contributions, for eligible and incorporated organizations that were successful recipients from previous funding cycles.
  • Applicants requesting additional support for organizations located in remote areas must meet the eligibility requirements stated in the subsection Eligible contribution categories within these guidelines.
  • Both parties must sign a contribution agreement before LAC can provide project funding.
  • Recipients of small contributions will receive 100% of funds at the beginning of the project. (This does not apply to multi-year funding for small contributions)
  • All recipients are required to submit an Interim Report through the online portal by October 25, 2019. Recipients of large contributions ($25,000 and over) first receive only 85% of their annual contribution award. They are required to submit the Interim Report for approval to receive the 15% holdback.
  • In the case of multi-year projects, recipients must also submit a Final Report at the end of each fiscal year to receive the subsequent year's funding.
  • At the end of the project, if total government assistance (federal, provincial or territorial and municipal) exceeds 100% of the total project expenditures, the recipient shall repay any excess to the Receiver General of Canada.
  • 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.

Maximum amount

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 LAC provides directly to:

  • a non-incorporated local documentary heritage organization is $24,999 per project
  • a non-incorporated local documentary heritage organization located in a remote area is $29,999 per project

The maximum level of assistance LAC provides directly to:

  • an incorporated local documentary heritage organization is $50,000 per project, per funding cycle
  • an incorporated local documentary heritage organization located in a remote area is $60,000 per project, per funding cycle

Stacking limit

The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial or territorial, 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, LAC will 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 for each activity, comparisons with similar projects, and recommendations from internal financial and subject-matter advisors as well as members of the External Advisory Committee for the evaluation of the project budget.

To determine the eligible amount of funding, the Program will use the following criteria to evaluate each proposal:

  • Relevance and community engagement
  • Project planning and management
  • Budget analysis
  • Evaluation/expected outcomes
  • Organization's capacity to deliver
  • Risks associated with the proposed initiative

Note: Further details on the Project Assessment Criteria can be found in Section III: Assessment.

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 its terms and conditions.

Description of payments

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 and contact information of all third parties and the nature of the work they will undertake.

V. How to apply

Apply online

The Documentary Heritage Communities Program online portal enables applicants to submit their application and complete any requirements easily and securely. Please note that LAC will not accept any other method of submission (for example, by email or mail).

All applications must be submitted through the DHCP online portal. To do so, applicants must create an account. LAC strongly recommends that each applicant organization create and use only one account. Once created, accounts can be used by applicants for future funding cycles.

Organizations must submit their application documents in English or French, or a combination of both official languages.

Deadlines

The deadline for submitting a completed application package is January 8, 2019, before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) (UTC-5). LAC will not accept proposals received after the deadline.

For questions, please contact a DHCP advisor by telephone or by email at bac.contributions.lac@canada.ca:

  • The deadline for submitting any questions about this call for proposals is January 3, 2019, before 4:00 p.m. EST (UTC-5)
  • The deadline for any technical questions related to the online application portal is January 8, 2019, before 4:00 p.m. EST (UTC-5)
  • In keeping with its service standards, LAC responds to queries submitted by telephone and e-mail within three business days

Completing the application package/required documentation

Organizations should refer to the Application Checklist in the DHCP online portal to know which documents are required for their type of application.

LAC encourages applicants to consult the Application form (example) (PDF 929 KB) to ensure that they have all of the required information and documentation ready when they start filling out the online application. Please note that, at any time during the call period, applicants can save their information in the online portal and continue completing the application later. Please also note that, in order to advance from one application section to another in the DHCP online portal, applicants need to completely fill out the preceding section.

Important: If an applicant submits more than one application, the order of priority for each project must be indicated.

LAC will not accept or assess incomplete applications and will deem them to be ineligible.

Project budget

Applicants must complete each section of the Project Budget Form and include detailed information. LAC will deem applications with incomplete budget forms to be ineligible.

When preparing the budget sheets, applicants should 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 sources must be clearly identified as revenues
  • Although the DHCP does not reimburse in-kind contributions, applicants must declare them in the total cost of the project to help determine the maximum financial contribution that LAC may provide
  • 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.

VI. After you apply

  • Once applicants have submitted their applications, they will receive a confirmation email
  • LAC will announce recipients for the 2019–2020 funding cycle in the spring of 2019

Reporting requirements

The Interim and Final Reports are available through the DHCP online portal, located within the "Application Checklist." Where required, applicants must submit these forms online by the deadlines established below.

Reporting requirements: deadlines
Contribution Type Interim Report Final Report
Small contribution – $24,999 and below: Single year / first year of multi-year October 25, 2019 April 15, 2020
Small contribution – $24,999 and below: Second year of multi-year Footnote1 October 2020 April 2021
Large contribution - $25,000 and over: Single year / first year of multi-year October 25, 2019 April 15, 2020
Large contribution - $25,000 and over: Second year of multi-year Footnote1 October 2020 April 2021
Large contribution - $25,000 and over: Third year of multi-year Footnote1 October 2021 April 2022

All recipients are required to submit the Interim Report through the online portal by October 25, 2019. Recipients of large contributions ($25,000 and over) first receive only 85% of their annual contribution award. They are required to submit the Interim Report for approval to receive the remaining 15% holdback.

All recipients must submit the Final Report through the online portal by April 15, 2020. Should recipients not submit this report, they will not be eligible for future funding cycles and may be asked to repay the contribution. Should multi-year recipients not submit this report, they will not receive funding for subsequent years.

Public acknowledgement of financial assistance

In accepting 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.

VII. Contact us

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)
Email: bac.contributions.lac@canada.ca

Library and Archives Canada
Documentary Heritage Communities Program
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0N4

Subscribe to the DHCP mailing list

To receive updates from the Program, please send an email to bac.contributions.lac@canada.ca and enter "Subscribe" in the Subject field. We will include you in our mailing list.

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