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2021 Cultural Facilities Fund (Minor Projects)

Program guidelines


Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 4 pm

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Program objectives

This program is designed to assist local arts, festivals, fair or heritage organizations to improve cultural facilities, venues and programming in the City of Ottawa. This project-based funding is intended to provide support towards studies related to capital facility development, purchase of equipment (fixed and non-fixed), minor capital renovation projects and restoration related to heritage sites. The City of Ottawa will provide funding to successful organizations to a maximum of $7 500.

Funding priorities

In addition to the evaluated merit of submitted proposals, the Cultural Funding Support Unit will also look at prioritizing applications from the following equity seeking communities:

  • Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Francophones
  • Immigrants / Newcomers
  • People living in poverty
  • People of colour
  • People with visible and invisible disabilities
  • Deaf People
  • Rural residents
  • Seniors / Older adults
  • Women+
  • Youth


Who is eligible

Local, incorporated, not-for-profit cultural organizations with an arts, heritage, festival, or fair mandate, including organizations representing and/or celebrating First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and equity-seeking communities that:

  • have been in existence for at least two years in their present discipline
  • have received, within the last two years preceding the application year, a project or operating grant from the Cultural Funding Support Unit of the City of Ottawa
  • are in good financial standing
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • have the majority of their programming and event(s) occuring within the limits of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • have an active Board of Directors composed of a minimum of 3 members, with at least 50% of board directors residing in the Ottawa region

Who is not eligible

  • Organizations with a deficit greater than 25% of total operating revenue
  • Organizations that do not include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution


  • The City will not fund more than 90% of the total cost of the project.
  • An organization may only submit one application at a time to this funding program.
  • For collaborative projects between two or more organizations: a letter of partnership that describes the project, each organization’s role and responsibilities including signatures by authorized representatives of each organization is required.
  • For renovation and restoration projects: an organization must provide either proof of ownership or a lease agreement.
  • An organization must submit a final report before reapplying. If your final report for previous funding has not been submitted and approved by the deadline date, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding from the Cultural Funding Support Unit.
  • City of Ottawa’s Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services Department staff may not hold a key position within an organization requesting cultural funding from the City. Exception: where staff participation has been approved as one of the duties of their position.
  • City of Ottawa staff are required to act in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations. For further inquiries, please contact your Cultural funding officer.

Meeting all program eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding.

What is eligible

There are two categories of funding categories for minor projects:

  1. Capital funding
    1. Purchase of equipment
    2. Renovations
    3. Restorations
  2. Studies*
    1. Needs assessment study
    2. Pre-feasibility study
    3. Feasibility study
    4. Capital fundraising study

*Applicants are encouraged to meet with a Funding Officer prior to submitting an application.

What is not eligible

  • Projects or purchases that have been completed on or before the application deadline date
  • Operational costs such as facility rental fees, salaries, or advertising costs
  • Equipment purchases associated with specific one-time project/activity
  • Studies that are not directly related to facilities such as business plans, marketing plans, strategic plans, etc. (please consult the Capacity Building Program Guidelines for funding relating to these types of projects)
  • Projects funded through the Major Capital Development Projects Fund

Major capital development projects

The Cultural Facilities Fund program includes a Major Capital Development category. This category is administered through the Cultural Development Initiatives Unit and assists eligible organizations with funding for projects that have an overall estimated budget that is greater than $60,000.

To know more about this program, please contact François Lachapelle by email at

Funding categories

  1. Capital funding
    1. Purchase of equipment
      1. fixed equipment (e.g., lighting grid, staging, sprung flooring, etc.)
      2. non-fixed equipment associated with programming (e.g. sound boards, spot lights, computers etc.)
      3. equipment associated with an exhibition or display (e.g., bleachers, exhibition cases, etc.)
      4. equipment purchases to accommodate physical distancing measures
    2. Renovations
      1. renovation, alteration, or addition to an existing facility that enhances the performance, rehearsal, display, programming, and/or administration space, or access for the public
      2. minor renovations and small retrofits to adapt facilities to adhere to physical distancing measures
    3. Restorations
      1. restoration of an existing facility that is designated a heritage site under either the municipal, provincial or federal acts
      2. restoration of artifacts linked to a heritage facility
  2. Studies
    Studies must be related to facility improvements and/or construction and must be completed by an outside consultant/professional working within discipline/specialization of study.
    1. Needs assessment study
      1. provides an organization with a professional evaluation of specific needs to consider for a proposed project (e.g. electrical or technical requirements, architectural planning, etc.)
    2. Pre-feasibility study
      1. provides the Board of Directors an initial working tool that clarifies an organization’s capacity and intended impacts of a designated projects by delineating strengths and weaknesses of the project
    3. Feasibility study
      1. study for the creation / building of a new facility
      2. study for improving /renovating an existing facility
      3. study for equipment upgrades
    4. Capital fundraising study
      1. study and plan for a major fundraising campaign for facility upgrades or construction

Assessment criteria

Peer assessors will use the following assessment criteria to evaluate your request for funding. Applicants are assessed based upon their respective mandates, size and scope, and according to the criteria outlined below:


  • Aligns with mandate
  • Goals and objectives fulfill a critical need
  • Qualified project leadership


  • Broader community involvement
  • Impact on discipline and/or community of interest
  • Responsiveness to members and audiences

Organizational effectiveness

  • Management, planning and evaluation
  • Fiscal responsibility and realistic budgeting
  • Initiative in fundraising/diversification of revenue
  • Good governance
  • Need for financial support

Application process

Applicants must read and abide by the Information for applicants.

Applicants must complete the application form and attach all required documentation. Applications must be submitted through the online application portal by 4 pm on the deadline date.

Your Cultural Funding Officer can provide additional information regarding this program, your organization’s eligibility, and the application process.

Availability of City of Ottawa funding is subject to the approval of the annual City budget by Ottawa City Council.

If you are not awarded funding

Try again! If you do not receive funding you are encouraged to try again. The program’s limited envelope cannot fund all applicants, regardless of their merit.

Direct deposit information

Please be advised that the City of Ottawa’s Financial Services Unit is moving to the use of an automated Direct Deposit system solely in providing all payments, including Cultural Funding allocations.

If you have not already registered your organization’s banking information, please complete the Direct Deposit Form. PDF opens in a new tab or window and mail it with a physical original voided cheque or a physical original encoded deposit slip, or a physical original letter from the vendor's bank to the following address:

City of Ottawa
Accounts Payable, PO Box 3426 Stn D
Ottawa ON K1P 0B9

No photocopies will be accepted. Questions may be directed to Accounts Payable at 613.580.2424 extension 27888 or by email to mailbox.

Application and contact information

Activity report on previous funding

If funding was previously received from the City of Ottawa, an activity report detailing how the funds were used must be submitted at the completion of the project, or attached with a subsequent application. Applicants who fail to provide an activity report on previous funding will NOT be eligible to apply for subsequent City of Ottawa funding. Please contact for a copy of the report.

Contact Information

Program Inquires

For specific information on your submission, or to discuss eligibility, please contact:

Adrija Kličius
Cultural Funding Officer

General Inquiries

For general information or to request a form, please contact: