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Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP)

Grants to Canada Nonprofits to Enhance Archival
Access and Preserve Historic Documents

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Deadline Date:

02/07/18 5:00 PM EST Receipt


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Grants to Canada nonprofit organizations, such as archives, libraries, and historical societies for heritage documentation and preservation. This program seeks to ensure that the nation’s continuing memory is both documented and accessible to Canadians through the adoption of a more collaborative approach with local documentary heritage communities.


The DHCP provides financial assistance to the Canadian documentary heritage community for activities that:
-Increase access to and awareness of Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
-Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.

Eligible Projects and Contribution Categories:

Objective 1: Increase access to, and awareness of, Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings.

-Conversion and digitization for access purposes
-The development (research, design, and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including traveling exhibits
-Collection, cataloguing and access based management
-Commemorative projects

Objective 2: Increase the capacity to better preserve and sustain Canada’s documentary heritage.

-Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes
-Conservation and preservation treatment
-Increased digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to day-to-day activities)
-Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity
-Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities
-Financial assistance will be in the form of contributions for all eligible projects. Requested funding will be validated and may be modified following the review of projected expenses.

Funding decisions will be based on merit and approved eligible project criteria, and will be limited by the funding available, program priorities and regional representation.

There are two contribution categories within the Program:

A. Small contributions

-Both incorporated and non-incorporated nonprofit documentary heritage organizations can apply;
-Non-incorporated documentary heritage institutions require a letter of reference from a recognized national association or their municipal/provincial/territorial government;
-100% of funds provided at the beginning of the project.

B. Large contributions

-Only incorporated nonprofit documentary heritage organizations can apply;
-15% of funds are retained until receipt and approval of the Interim Assessment and Financial Report due January 15, 2019;
-Advanced funding may be considered;
-Recipient may redistribute funding to one or more third parties.

Eligible Expenditures

Financial assistance may be provided to organizations to cover the project costs such as the following:

-Eligible expenditures for general administration and travel costs combined may not exceed 20% of the contribution provided (does not apply to travelling exhibits or workshop delivery/attendance);
-Salaries and wages associated with a DHCP-funded project;
-Travel costs for staff working on DHCP-funded projects (consistent with the National Joint Council’s Travel Directive);
-Costs associated with consultants and/or elders, including fees and travel related to the project (consistent with the National Joint Council’s Travel Directive);
-Costs associated with the purchase and/or rental of equipment and software for the purpose of conversion, digitization, preservation and cataloguing;
-Costs associated with administration, shipping fees, promotion and communication expenses related to the project (excluding translation), as well as costs associated with the launch of the project and acknowledgement/visibility of the contribution provided by the Government of Canada;
-Administrative costs including, but not limited to, office supplies, long-distance telephone calls, postage, messenger services, photocopies and printing services;
-Staff and/or consulting costs associated with the evaluation of project results;
-Consulting costs associated with the translation of communication material produced as a result of the project, as well as for the development of Official Languages minority communities and Advancement of English and French (section 41 of the Official Languages Act);
-Insurance costs associated with a traveling exhibition;
-Training, competency and capacity development activities;
-Professional costs for conservation/preservation treatments; and
-Hospitality costs associated with project launches and small gifts (under $100) to elders for Aboriginal projects.

Reaching Out to Official Language Minority Communities and Promoting English and French:

The DHCP must ensure that all necessary measures are put in place to support the development of official language minority communities in Canada and to promote the full recognition, use and Advancement of English and French (section 41 of the Official Languages Act) in Canadian society.

Where the recipient’s activities address an audience comprising one of the two official language groups, or where the recipient’s activities could have an impact on the bilingual character of Canada, the DHCP must ensure that the funding agreement concluded with the recipient stipulates appropriate measures to be taken and includes the funding required to carry out these measures.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177613

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Small contributions are below $15,000 per project per funding cycle.

Large contributions are between $15,000 and $100,000 per project per funding cycle.

Term of Contract:

Small contributions are ineligible for multi-year funding.

For large contributions, multi-year funding will be considered. All successful recipients from previous funding cycles who are incorporated will be eligible to apply for multi-year funding.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Recipients:

Incorporated and non-incorporated nonprofit organizations can apply. Should a non-incorporated organization wish to apply, a letter of reference will be required from a recognized national association or its municipal/provincial/territorial government. Non-incorporated organizations are encouraged to partner with incorporated organizations. All incorporated applicants must provide proof of incorporation.

Eligible organizations include the following:
-Privately funded libraries;
-Historical societies;
-Genealogical organizations/societies;
-Professional library and archival associations; and;
-Museums with an archival component.

Ineligible Recipients:

Businesses, government institutions, museums without archives, and universities and colleges are ineligible to apply for funding under this call for proposals.

A nonprofit organization that is administered by, or receives more than 50% of its regular annual operational funding from any level of government, is ineligible to apply for funding. However, First Nations Governments, Band Councils or Tribal Councils, and Inuit and Métis equivalent governing organizations are eligible to apply to the DHCP.

Please note that an ineligible applicant can participate and/or collaborate in a project submitted by an eligible applicant, by providing the latter with in-kind or financial assistance. However, an ineligible organization or collaborator cannot benefit financially from the contribution, nor can it be a co-applicant, named partner or third-party recipient.

Ineligible Expenditures:

Project funding may not be used for salaries, wages, travel, material, supplies, capital assets and other costs related to the following:
-Ongoing operations (i.e., day-to-day activities) and maintenance costs including office space rent/lease, overall management, heating, and maintenance of systems/equipment;
-Acquisition of documentary heritage and activities related to the acquisition of documentary heritage;
-Hospitality, other than those exceptions listed in the section above;
-Capital expenditures (related to fixed assets);
-Development of project proposals or application under the DHCP or for other federal programs;
-Salaries paid to staff of any level of government;
-Any costs that would have been incurred had the project not been undertaken;
-Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and other benefits; and
-Taxes (for those organizations that are exempted or that may be reimbursed).

Pre-Application Information:

For any questions about this call for proposals, please contact a DHCP advisor by telephone or by email by January 31, 2018, before 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5).

The deadline for submitting completed application packages is February 7, 2018, before 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5). Proposals received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Library and Archives Canada
The Documentary Heritage Communities Program
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0N4

Telephone: 819-997-0893 or 1-844-757-8035 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
Fax: 819-934-5835

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon