​Canadian Communities May Receive Up to $200K in Funding for Local Festivals

Many important cultural events, such as festivals, celebrations, and more, have begun to return to local communities across the nation and Canadians are once again beginning to come together in sharing these experiences. As these events return, the Canadian government has sought to continue their financial support via a variety of government funding programs for municipalities and local festivals. Moreover, these goals have been etched into tangible government action in documents such as the Mandate Letter for Pablo Rodriguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, to support artists and the cultural sector in returning from COVID-19 pandemic stoppages and capacity limitations.

“Since arts and culture draw us together and help tell us who we are, you will also prioritize efforts to promote cultural and creative industries in both official languages, increase funding to empower Indigenous, Black and racialized artists and journalists to tell their own stories and work with Indigenous partners to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages in Canada.”

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mandate Letter

To achieve the arts and culture goals outlined by the leaders of Canadian government, funding programs is offered across the country to promote more Canadian activities that improve the country’s heritage via initiatives like the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program. To build on this program, the organizing party, Canadian Heritage, is providing funding for festival events through the Local Festivals stream. This stream is designed to improve support for recurring festivals that showcase local artists, artisans, or heritage performers.

Funding Amount

Successful applicants for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage – Local Festivals stream may be allotted up to a maximum grant of $200,000 per festival.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for funding support via the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage – Local Festivals stream, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Applicants should be local and a non-profit organization or group; or
  • Applicants should be a local council or other local Aboriginal government or organization. This includes First Nations, Inuit, or Métis;

Applicants must also meet these additional criteria:

  • Stimulate community engagement in their local communities via activities that promote, celebrate, and preserve local arts such as performance, visual, or local heritage; and
  • Have prior experience organizing successful festivals within two years of application date.

Eligible Projects

For an applicant’s activities to be deemed eligible for funding support, they must be able to show that they are intending to organize a local festival which presents the talents and works of art of local artists, artisans, or heritage performers. In addition, applicant projects must actively involve members of the local community where the event is taking place. Lastly, these festivals must be made open to the general public for all to enjoy, as well as meet accessibility standards for those with handicaps.

Program Timelines

Deadlines for the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage – Local Festivals stream will occur on the following scheduled dates with a consistent deadline time of 5pm Eastern time:

  • January 31 for festivals beginning between September 1 and December 31 of the same calendar year;
  • April 30 for festivals starting between January 1 and June 30 of the following calendar year; and
  • October 15 for festivals that begin between July 1 and August 31 of the next calendar year.

It is important to note that should a deadline fall on a weekend or statutory holiday, that application deadline will be extended to the next working day.

Funding for Canadian Municipalities

Many government funding programs provided across Canada are designed to support municipalities, not-for-profits, and community organizations. However, it may be challenging to find, analyze, and apply for these programs, especially due to the dynamic nature of government funding. Therefore, we’ve simplified this process by collating a useful Canadian Municipality Funding Programs Directory which allows for users to filter through programs by activity.

To learn more about government funding opportunities and stay up to date on new programs and current program updates, sign up for one of our professional funding webinars today.

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