Canada’s unique and diverse cultures and communities are a key part of our identity. From coast to coast, families and friends can be found gathering at local art museums, heritage centres, and creative hubs meant to express our shared stories and history in all its forms. In an effort to preserve and improve Canada’s cultural facilities, the federal government implemented a funding program called the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF).
“Our government knows that cultural infrastructure provides the cornerstone for healthy, vibrant communities and creates spaces where people of all backgrounds can connect through shared experiences. That’s why we are committed to funding cultural facilities, not only to sustain their continued function and viability today, but also so they can grow for generations to come.”
-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage”
The CCSF program was launched in 2001 with the goal of supporting infrastructure improvement projects that will help increase the access of arts and heritage collaboration, creation, presentation, and exhibition spaces. The CCSF has successfully funded over 1,300 projects across Canada, including the following three major cultural renovation projects in Peterborough, Toronto, and Newmarket, Ontario.
Top Success Stories for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
Canadian Canoe Museum (Peterborough, Ontario):
In Peterborough, Ontario, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund has allocated $10 million in federal contributions to the Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) for a new facility. The total cost of the project will amount to over $50 million and provide a new chapter for this important Canadian heritage site.
“It is an historic day, and on behalf of the entire canoe museum community, I cannot thank you enough […] This, is the largest investment the museum has ever received.”
– Carolyn Hyslop, Executive Director, Canadian Canoe Museum
Currently, the Canadian Canoe Museum has purchased it’s new lot and is poised to begin construction in October of 2021. The CCM hosts the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayas, and paddled watercraft and shares an important part of Canada’s history, especially in relation to First Nation’s heritage. The construction of a new museum will provide a cultural facility along the water’s edge.
Massey Hall Revitalization Project (Toronto, Ontario):
Another big project which has received CCSF funding support is the Massey Hall Revitalization Project. Massey Hall is an internationally famous concert hall, which opened in 1894, and is operated by the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, a not-for-profit organization. A sum of over $8 million was allocated by the CCSF for this project which amounted to a total cost of almost $19 million.
“We are thrilled that the Government of Canada is investing in Massey Hall’s future through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding will help set the stage for the completion of the Massey Hall Revitalization Project to ensure that Massey Hall remains a home to showcase and cultivate our future leaders in arts, culture and beyond.”
-Deane Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall
The project’s scope covered two basement levels and the purchase and installation of specialized lighting equipment. Also, included in the renovation was insulation and an upgrade to the hall’s windows, as well as the costs for engineering and architectural design documents.
Old Town Hall (Newmarket, Ontario):
Furthermore, another big success story for the CCSF program is the upgrade and renovation of the Old Town Hall in Newmarket, Ontario. The CCSF allocated over $80,000 in funding for this project which amounted to a project total of almost $200,000.
“On behalf of the Town of Newmarket and our Council, I would like to thank our federal government for its generous investment in our community, […] This funding will go a long way in providing our local artists, creative performers and their audiences with an experience that’s well beyond the ordinary.”
– Tony Van Bynen, Member of Parliament for Newmarket
The Old Town Hall project’s focus is on the purchase and installation of specialized audio-visual equipment for the Hall’s performance spaces. Newmarket hopes this upgrade will allow for a more vibrant arts community in the town through vibrant performances and other cultural events.
What Does the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) Cover?
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund offers the following in government funding amounts:
- Up to 50% funding for a maximum of $15M for construction & renovation projects;
- Up to 50% funding to a maximum pf $5M for specialized equipment projects;
- Up to 50% funding to a maximum of $500k for feasibility study projects; and
- Up to 75% for rural and underserved communities.
CCSF Eligible Applicants:
Eligible applicants for the CCSF program should meet one or all of the following criteria:
- Provinces, Territories, Municipalities, and their agencies;
- First Nations and Other Indigenous communities/organizations;
- Non-Profit Organizations/Heritage Organizations; and
- Must own the project facilities or have a minimum of a 10-year lease.
CCSF Eligible Activities:
Eligible activities for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will meet the following criteria:
- Construction and/or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, or creative hubs;
- Acquisition of specialized equipment; and
- Development of feasibility studies for the construction or renovation of arts and/or heritage facilities, or creative hubs.
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund has an ongoing application intake which will continue to accept applications until the government funding pool is depleted. Currently, there are no formal deadlines for this program.
Apply for Government Funding
To read more about financial support for cultural and heritage spaces in Canada, reach out to a Mentor Works representative today. To apply for the program, visit the government funding directory for Manufacturing.
If your community is interested in improving local culture and heritage spaces, there may be government funding opportunities for you. Learn how to navigate the grant and loan process and stay up to date on top government funding news to get the best possible start to your government funding journey.