Province Invests $8M in Museums and Heritage Sites to Mark Canada 150

Organizations with a culture or heritage mandate responsible for a museum, archive, or historic place may be eligible for funding as part of a new program to celebrate BC communities and their contribution to Canada.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the Province of British Columbian has launched a funding program offering one-time grants of up to $100,000 for projects that create meaningful legacies honouring BC’s histories, culture, heritage and contribution to the nation. A total of $8 million has been allocated in program funding.

The BC Museums Association will administer the program, British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada, on behalf of the Province as part of a collaborative partnership.

Funding themes:

1. Developing Infrastructure: Projects that improve or develop new museum spaces and/or facilities. 

2. Conserving Historic Places and Heritage Sites: Projects that preserve, rehabilitate and restore formally registered, designated or recognized historic places.

3. Building Lasting Legacies: Projects that physically represent B.C.’s unique and diverse histories, culture and heritage (e.g. permanent exhibitions, monuments, public art, statues, interpretation, plaques, signage, etc.). Projects must be place-based / location-specific and include a permanent, publicly accessible physical component.

4. Sharing Our History: Projects that promote the sharing of collections and expertise between the Royal BC Museum (RBCM), BC’s provincial museum and archives, and the wider museum community to reveal the diverse historical narratives of British Columbia (e.g. collaborative exhibition design and development; curatorial exchanges and knowledge sharing; publications). Note: Applicants must contact the RBCM before submitting an application under this theme.

Eligible projects need to begin after February 10, 2017, and must be complete by March 1, 2018.

Eligible organizations include not-for-profits, First Nation Band Councils, Aboriginal Friendship Centres, local governments and post-secondary institutions. See the guidelines for full eligibility criteria.

“Arts, culture and heritage are at the core of British Columbia’s cultural identity,” said the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in a press statement. “We have a wealth of stories to contribute to Canada 150 and an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our province. Investing in long-term cultural legacies will support our communities in sharing BC’s stories for generations to come.”

Heritage BC’s interim executive director Paul Gravett says that the fund will have a far-reaching and lasting effect for the arts, culture and heritage sector: “The investment will stimulate work and creativity throughout the province, allowing BC’s museums, galleries, heritage and cultural organizations and related institutions to realize many of their aspirations. Our heritage and culture will be honoured today and enjoyed by future generations. Above all, we will take pride in our achievements, as we celebrate our contribution, as proud British Columbians, to the cultural fabric of Canada.”

“Canada’s 150th anniversary provides an opportunity for BC’s museums, heritage sites and cultural organizations to create experiences that help us learn about and understand the diverse histories and cultures that bring us together as British Columbians and Canadians. We are thrilled to see the government investing in this important work,” said Erica Mattson, executive director of the British Columbia Museums Association.

The main themes of the federal government’s vision for Canada 150 are diversity and inclusion, reconciliation from nation to nation with Indigenous peoples, the environment and youth. In addition to British Columbia | Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada, the Province has also committed $2 million to the Royal BC Museum to support interested Aboriginal peoples in British Columbia seeking the return of their ancestral remains and belongings of cultural significance.

Program Guidelines

The complete program guidelines and application form can be downloaded here.

Application Deadline

Online applications will open at on January 16, 2017. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2017.


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