Heritage funding program

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Program guidelines


  • Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 4 p.m.

One complete copy of the application must be emailed to infoculture@ottawa.ca.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Program Objectives

The Heritage Funding Program supports projects undertaken by individuals or organizations that promote or support:

  • local heritage through education, awareness and appreciation
  • research or documentation of local history
  • preservation of local heritage assets
  • the reclamation, retention, transmittal, development and revitalization of Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis heritage and culture

Grant Writing Assistance

Cultural Funding Officers are available to help you prepare your grant application in the following ways:

  • Discuss eligibility of your project, requirements of the program and answer any questions about the application and evaluation process.
  • Review a draft version of your application prior to the deadline. Drafts can be emailed at any time up until Wednesday, October 13, 2021 to anik.despres@ottawa.ca.
  • Provide peer assessment committee feedback on a previous application that you, or your organization, has submitted.


Who is eligible?

Individuals must:
  • be 18 years or older
  • be resident of the city of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • or be Algonquin Anishinabe and living within 150 km radius of Ottawa
  • be a professional heritage expert, community elder or culture keeper recognized by peers
  • demonstrate knowledge of local history or cultural traditions and practices
Organizations must:
  • have their office/mailing address within the limits of Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • serve the local community
  • be not-for-profit
  • be led by, or work in partnership with, a heritage professional(s), heritage worker(s), a community elder or culture keeper
  • have an active Board of Directors or Steering Committee (minimum of 3 members)
  • have at least 50% of Board of Directors/Steering committee members residing in the Ottawa region
And, one of the following:
  • be a heritage non-profit organization with a local heritage mandate
  • be a First Nation, Inuit or Métis non-profit organization proposing a local heritage project on their respective cultures
  • be a non-profit organization or collective that is proposing a local project with a heritage goal to be produced in partnership with a non-profit professional heritage organization, heritage professional, community elder, or culture keeper
Activities must:
  • demonstrate a strong local heritage focus
  • be conducted in Ottawa, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation or Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation
  • be accessible and of interest to the public
  • significantly involve participation of the local cultural community or community of interest
  • be singular in scope and be completed within a limited time frame, normally one year

Who is NOT eligible:

  • For-profit organizations / ventures
  • Crown corporations and government agencies
  • Political parties
  • Organizations that receive operating funding from the City of Ottawa Service Agreement Program
  • Organizations whose activities come under the jurisdiction of other levels or departments of government (school boards, hospitals, universities, libraries, social services, military programs, business improvement associations, etc.)

What is NOT eligible:

  • Fundraising projects and initiatives that benefit a third party
  • Self-promotion / marketing activities
  • Commercial ventures
  • Projects involving the manufacture and distribution of product in multiple copies
  • Projects that have already been completed on or before the application deadline date
  • Projects that are part of an academic course of study
  • Projects funded as part of an operating grant from any other City program
  • Activities that are solely intended for the membership of an organization
  • Projects where participation is conditional upon partaking in the religious activities of the organization
  • Capital purposes (i.e. purchase of land, equipment, fixtures or physical facilities, architectural restoration, etc.)


  • The City of Ottawa will not fund 100% of the total cost of the project; the project budget must include sources of revenue other than the City’s contribution
  • Applicants may only submit ONE project application per year to the following cultural funding programs: Heritage Funding Program
  • Organizations with accumulated surpluses greater than 100% of total revenue (excluding capital assets) are not eligible
  • Organizations with accumulated deficit greater that 10% of total revenue and exceeding $3,000 are not eligible
  • You cannot receive more than one funding allocation for the same activity
  • You must submit a final report before reapplying. If your final report for previous funding has not been submitted by the deadline date, subsequent applications to this program will not be considered

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

City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives may not apply for individual cultural funding or awards.

City of Ottawa 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.

Types of Project Funding

Applicants may apply for project funding under the following categories:

  1. Heritage Awareness and Education Projects
    1. Projects that promote or support local heritage through education, awareness and appreciation such as:
      • Heritage events, and historical re-enactments or drama productions
      • Local and community history books, pamphlets, walking tours
      • Public lecture series, workshops, seminars
      • Multi-media and website history initiatives
      • Local heritage educational programs
      • Exhibits or interpretive plaques
    2. Projects that provide support for the reclamation, retention, transmittal, development and revitalization of Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation, First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritage and culture:
      • Pow wow, traditional gatherings and cultural events
      • Exhibits, workshops, presentations, storytelling
      • Indigenous traditional knowledge and practices
      • Language preservation
  2. Research and Documentation Projects
    1. Projects that research or document local history such as:
      • New research projects into Ottawa’s history (e.g. histories of significant local individuals, communities, industries, faith communities, etc.)
      • Photo-documentation of collections
      • Documentation of heritage buildings, streetscapes, landscapes, and gardens
      • Compilation of inventories of heritage assets
      • Oral history projects
    2. Book Proposals
      Regarding proposed publications, please note the following:
      • Priority will be given to original research that is appropriately sourced
      • The Canadian Journal of History Style Guide should be used as the standard in preparing the manuscript for publication
      • Collaboration with accredited historical researchers will be considered an advantage
  3. Preservation/Conservation Projects
    Projects that preserve local heritage assets through:
  • Archaeological digs
  • Heritage gardening projects
  • Conservation assessments
  • Use of appropriate storage equipment and supplies
  • Preservation of local artifacts
  • Specialized treatments for paper or artifact collections

Please note: Individuals are not eligible to apply for preservation/conservation projects.

Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration

Grants from the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department are available to assist owners of heritage buildings with restoration work. For more information: 613-580-2424 ext. 23582

Application Process

Applicants must complete the Application Form and attach all required documentation. All applications must be submitted electronically at infoculture@ottawa.ca by 4:00 pm on the deadline date.

If you are a first-time applicant, please contact a Cultural Funding Officer to ensure that you are eligible for this program, and to discuss the application process.

Additional information on how funding decisions are made can be found on our website.

Assessment Criteria

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

Heritage Merit

  • Solid heritage project proposal with achievable goals and objectives
  • Direction of activities by, or guidance available from, accredited heritage professionals, community elders or culture keepers
  • Valid and authentic local heritage subject matter
  • Meets established professional heritage standards or touches upon authentic traditional knowledge

Community Impact

  • Measurable, clear benefits to the community
  • Support of the Ottawa-based heritage community or community of interest
  • Contribution to a lasting legacy
  • Strength of partnerships (if applicable)
  • Commitment to engage with local equity seeking communities


  • Effective planning, follow-up, and evaluation
  • History of partnering with other organizations and sectors
  • Relevant experience and track record of accomplishments
  • Fiscal responsibility and realistic budgeting
  • Initiative in generating alternate sources of revenue
  • Demonstrated need for financial support

Support Material

All applicants must submit support material which will be reviewed by the evaluation committee. It plays an important role in the assessment of the application as it gives the evaluators an indication of the merit of the work proposed and provides documentation of past and proposed activities.

Allocation of Funding

An applicant’s success in obtaining funding depends upon the assessment committee’s final evaluation and the funding available within the program.

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

The amount requested is not necessarily the amount awarded.

Meeting all eligibility requirements of the program does not guarantee funding.

Cultural Funding Results

All applicants will receive a notification from the CFSU informing them of the results. We aim to provide results to all applicants within six months of the application deadline. We cannot share results over the phone.

Summary Report

At the end of the year, the CFSU publishes a summary of funding results on the City of Ottawa’s website listing the names of all funding recipients and assessors. Until this list is published, the names of successful applicants and assessors will not be revealed. The identity of unsuccessful applicants remains confidential.

If You Are Awarded Funding

Release of Funds

If you are awarded funding, your notification will include the approved funding amount, as well as conditions governing the release of funds and the Terms and Conditions document. Payment from the City’s Financial Services will follow.

Use of Funds

Funds shall be used only for the purposes outlined in the original application. Any changes to the project scale or activities, including changes in budget, leadership, organizational structure and programming, must be reported in writing to and receive approval from the CFSU.

Please read the Terms and Conditions document for more information on the use of funds.


All funding recipients are required to submit a final report detailing how they used the funding awarded to them. This report must be submitted to and approved by the CFSU either:

  • following completion of the funded activities; or
  • twelve months after receipt of the funds; or
  • at the time of subsequent application to the program.

Without a Report approved by the City of Ottawa’s CFSU, you will be deemed ineligible for subsequent funding.

Acknowledgement of Support

Funding recipients are required to acknowledge the support of the City of Ottawa as indicated within the official Acknowledgement of Support document which will be sent to all successful applicants.

Letter of Welcome from the Mayor

If your organization wishes to request a Letter of Welcome from the Mayor to be included in your event program and/or brochure, please contact the Communications Officer, Mayor Support Service Unit, at 613-580-2424 ext. 28868.

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.

All results are final. There is no appeal of assessors’ decisions regarding the merit of your proposed activities or the assessment committee’s recommendation of an award amount. The CFSU allows for reconsideration, but only in cases where a review of the application and the committee’s deliberations reveals evidence that the application was not assessed according to the publicly-stated procedure and assessment criteria.

Application forms & contact information

2022 Application form

Please note: You must download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through a web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded, printed, or saved.

Should you encounter technical issues or prefer to have a word version, please contact infoculture@ottawa.ca

If you wish to apply in the annual operating category, please contact the Cultural Funding Officer listed below.

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 to 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 note: You must download the form onto your computer and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete. Any information added to the form through the web browser will be lost when the form is downloaded, printed, or saved.

Contacts us

General inquiries

For general information, technical issues, or to request an application form, contact infoculture@ottawa.ca

Program inquires

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

Anik Després
Cultural Funding Officer

Funding priorities

Following the peer-assessed evaluation of submitted proposals, the CFSU will look at prioritizing applications from the following Indigenous and equity-seeking communities:

  • Anishinabe Algonquin Nation
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, People of Color)
  • People with visible and invisible disabilities
  • Non-ambulatory persons
  • D/deaf people
  • Refugees / Immigrants / Newcomers
  • People living in poverty
  • Rural residents
  • Francophones
  • Seniors / Older adults
  • Women+
  • Youth

The City of Ottawa recognizes that people identify themselves in many ways. Terms used to self-identify are continually evolving. People can change their identities or the ways they want to identify over time. With this understanding, the CFSU uses terms recommended by community members through various consultations.

How to submit support material

Applicants must submit support material which will be reviewed by the evaluation committee. It plays an essential role in the assessment of the application as it gives the evaluators an indication of the merit of the work proposed and provides documentation of past and proposed activities.

Examples of support material: promotional material, program brochures, media coverage, photos, annual reports and publications, video or audio recordings or links to web pages or social media.

You must submit support material via the CFSU’s online portal by uploading the files directly or by inputting the URLs. Different programs have different requirements, so please check them carefully.

Exceptions include: funding programs that are not currently live on the portal, and reports submitted for funding received prior to the 2022 cycle.

Should you require accessibility accommodations, please contact infoculture@ottawa.ca

For all submissions:

  • File names cannot contain any special characters including accents, commas or hyphens. Please rename all files in plain text. Provide a brief description of the content.
  • Jurors have limited time to review support material. The total time allotted to review all audio and video files cannot exceed 7 minutes per application. Please select your material with this time constraint in mind. Provide cue times as part of your description.
  • QuickTime, and Apple specific files are not accepted (.mov; .aiff; .numbers; .pages).
  • Test all electronic materials to ensure readability and quality.

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 vendormaster@ottawa.ca mailbox.