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Grants to Ontario Nonprofits for Events and Programs to Foster Community Inclusivity and Attract Visitors

Celebrate Markham Grant Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
City of Markham
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
Canada: Ontario: City of Markham;

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/02/23 1:00 PM - Deadline for Applications for the 2024-2025 funding cycle for Cultural Events, Major Community Events and Seniors Clubs Save

Grant Description
Grants to Ontario nonprofit organizations in eligible locations to support local events and programs to encourage community inclusivity and to attract tourists. Funding categories include cultural programs and events, festivals, sporting events, and seniors' clubs. Eligible applicants are located in the City of Markham.

Each of the four possible categories have different criteria in order to be eligible. Review the categories on the Full Grant Text RFP link to determine which one applies to your event, activity, or program. 

Grant Goals:

  • Supports community events and programs;
  • Encourages community inclusivity;
  • Enhances Markham’s reputation as a destination City for visitors and tourists.

The following are the key underlying Principles that will be considered by the Staff Review Committee when evaluating applications: 

  • The event, festival, or activity provides cultural, recreational, community building and/or tourism benefits to the residents and businesses of the City of Markham;
  • The event, festival, or activity promotes inclusivity, cross-cultural collaboration, and aligns with the City of Markham’s “Everyone Welcome” Diversity Action Plan;
  • The event, festival, or activity supports the goals/outcomes of the City of Markham’s Strategic Plan (“Building Markham’s Future Together”), Culture Plan, Integrated Leisure Master Plan and Public Realm Strategy;
  • The event, festival, or activity increases participation of a diversity of groups and organizations in City of Markham events. 

Eligible activities and expenses include Project-specific costs for the planning, organization and implementation of events, activities and programs, as well as limited administration costs, as follows:

  • Rental space
  • Rental equipment
  • General liability insurance
  • Event/activity/program management
  • Event marketing
  • Performer or instructor fees
  • Delivery and materials costs
  • Interpretation and translation for
    events and communications
  • Up to 20% of the approved expenses in Administration Costs including: bookkeeping, office supplies and associated auditing costs.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The fund is intended for not-for-profit organizations based in the City of Markham. Not-for-profit organizations operate without financial gain for its members or directors.

Eligibility Criteria:
- Applicants must be a not-for-profit organization, either incorporated or unincorporated;
- Events, activities, and programs must take place in the City of Markham;
- Events, activities and programs must not be eligible or funded through other City of Markham funding programs;
- The organization must be supported by a volunteer Board of Directors, Steering Committee or similar body;
- A majority of the organization’s Board of Directors must be residents of the City of Markham unless significant community benefits can be demonstrated as part of the application review process;
- Applications are required to be completed and submitted by the Celebrate Markham Program deadline;
- Applications must be made through the official application process;
- Only 1 grant will be awarded per organization per funding cycle;
- Subject to extensions granted by the City of Markham, the event/activity/program must be completed by the date as stated on the Application form, otherwise the funding must be returned;
- Recipients must submit a Project Outcome/Financial Report for approval within two (2) months from the stated Project completion date. New grant applications that have received funding in the past will not be accepted unless the Project Outcome/Financial Report is approved and the organization is in good standing with the City of Markham;
- Membership in the organization and the organization’s activities must be open to the public.
- Eligibility Criteria for Sport Events
o For sport organizations to be eligible for funding, they must book a minimum of 25 hotel room nights and 75% of all hotels rooms must be located in Markham. Proof of a hotel booking confirmation and receipt must be included in the final report.
▪ Provincial Level Sport Events – a minimum of 25 hotels room nights must be booked in Markham.
▪ National Level Sport Events – a minimum of 50 hotel room nights must be booked in Markham.
▪ International/ World Level Sport Events – a minimum of 100 room nights must be booked in Markham.

Individuals and “for profit” organizations are not eligible.

Grants through Celebrate Markham for Projects in the Cultural Events & Programs, Major Community Festivals and Sports Events categories may NOT be used for the day-to-day operating costs of the organization.

Funding requests in the Sports Events category for the following are not eligible:
- Events that are unconfirmed or still in the bidding process;
- Sports festivals or participation focused events;
- York Region Elementary, Middle, and high School Championship events;
- Hosting multi-sport events (i.e. multi-sport Games);
- Sport development/training camps;
- Provincial, national or international conference, congresses, symposiums, Annual General Meetings, Etc.;
- Capital Expenditures, gifting and prize money.

The following entities are ineligible:
- For-profit organizations;
- Schools, universities, hospitals, daycares, group homes, or any group that has a mandate/activities covered under provincial/federal legislation;
- Political parties and lobby groups;
- Religious groups where services/activities include promotion, or require adherence to a faith (in the event religious services are provided, there must be clear separation between religious and community service functions at event and budget levels);
- National and provincial organizations, unless they have an affiliate club or local chapter within the municipality;
- Landlord/tenant/condominium corporations;
- Organizations in major deficit or debt positions as a result of financial mismanagement;
- Individuals.

For information on Ineligible Expenses, see:

Pre-Application Information
- Applications for the 2024-2025 funding cycle for Sports Events: apply between August 21, 2023 at noon to September 21, 2023 by 1 PM.
- Applications for the 2024-2025 funding cycle for Cultural Events, Major Community Events and Seniors Clubs: apply between October 2, 2023 at noon to November 2, 2023 by 1 PM.
- The approval process from application deadline to the decision is between 3 to 5 months. If a grant is successful, an organization will be advised that a grant is offered. Payment of the grant is made after the grant conditions have been accepted/fulfilled.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to cost-share or seek assistance from other funding sources.

Only one grant will be awarded per organization per funding cycle for Cultural Events, Sports Events and Seniors Club.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
- Cultural Events and Programs - Maximum per recipient is $5,000
- Major Community Festivals - Maximum per recipient is $10,000
- Sports Events - Maximum per recipient is $10,000 (Note: for International/World level sports events: up to $20,000);
- Seniors’ Clubs - Maximum per recipient is $3,000

Up to 50% of the Cultural Events and Programs category allocation is available to new organizations that have not received funding from the Celebrate Markham Fund in the past three (3) years for events, activities and programs that promote the objectives of the City of Markham’s Culture Plan, as determined through the Application assessment process.

Term of Contract
Projects and events must be delivered between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

Contact Information

For additional information, email your questions to

City of Markham
Markham Civic Centre
101 Town Centre Boulevard
Markham, Ontario, L3R 9W3

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