It’s wise to be in contact with local policymakers early on in project planning to get feedback and open lines of communication. Bringing funders and elected officials into the decision-making loop for your project will help them understand your needs, and give you feedback about the best strategies for attracting support. Early advice from policymakers can be invaluable in helping you shape your plans and funding strategy, especially for larger-scale projects.
The primary federal funding source is the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, a program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The program supports building projects, renovations, equipment upgrades, and even feasibility analyses. Note that CCSF supports green building and sustainable development, and funded projects will be expected to address sustainability issues in their funding proposals.
For communities in Northern Ontario, Fednor (Federal Economic Development in Northern Ontario, a program of Industry Canada) may provide funding if the case can be made for the project’s contribution to economic development and tourism.
Province of Ontario
The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Province, offers two funds that support cultural infrastructure. The small infrastructure fund provides grants of up to $15,000. The large infrastructure fund accepts grant applications of up to $150,000. There is no current program provided by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports that directly supports cultural infrastructure.
Regional economic development funds supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, such as the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and the Eastern Economic Development Fund, support cultural infrastructure projects if the case can be made for the project’s contribution to economic development and tourism.
The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and other programs of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines may support cultural infrastructure programs that strengthen community development.
Local governments can provide in-kind donations, land donations, free or nominal long-term rental agreements and funding for cultural infrastructure projects. Increasingly Federal and Provincial funders are seeking the endorsement of municipalities, and it is wise to be in contact with local policymakers early on in project planning to get feedback and open lines of communication.
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