The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, today announced an investment of $250,000 in a new funding program that will enable the capital’s arts, culture and heritage communities to add vibrancy to the celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The Ottawa 2017 Arts, Culture and Heritage Investment Program is a one-time dedicated funding opportunity available to eligible groups in Ottawa’s diverse arts, cultural and heritage sectors for projects in Ottawa during 2017 celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial.

“This investment will enhance the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday throughout our city with projects that ignite pride, creativity and passion,” said Mayor Watson. “By launching this new funding program, we’re providing increased opportunities for arts, culture and heritage groups to create inspirational experiences that will contribute to a vibrant and positive image of Ottawa.”

In partnership with Ottawa 2017, the program will be stewarded by the AOE Arts Council, the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa and the Ottawa Arts Council.

“We have a dynamic cultural capital full of creativity and ideas just waiting for this type of opportunity,” said Victoria Steele, Executive Director, AOE Arts Council. “The funding is timely as it will enable planning to get underway so that local artists and arts groups will be ready to offer programming that contributes to the celebration in a meaningful way.”

“Ottawa’s cultural community is brimming with original ideas to be explored in 2017. Our creative sector is by nature entrepreneurial, and can take modest investments and turn them into something extraordinary. I’m confident we will see some exciting results through this program’s encouragement and contribution,” said Peter Honeywell, Executive Director of the Ottawa Arts Council.

“We’re very pleased to help steward this special sesquicentennial cultural funding initiative,” said Catherine Lindquist, Executive Director, Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa. “We’ll be especially excited to see proposals come forward that showcase Ottawa’s rich heritage in marking this important historic milestone of Canada’s 150th anniversary in the capital,” she said.

Several arts, culture and heritage organizations were gathered at Orange Art Gallery for the announcement, which included a performance by local singer-songwriter Gabrielle Giguere (Her Harbour). At the event, a challenge was issued to the local community to begin planning an unprecedented year of artistic and cultural programming in the capital.

“As co-host for the Ottawa 2017 festivities, CIBC is pleased to invite arts, culture and heritage groups to share their talents with celebration-goers,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategy, CIBC. “Their participation will broaden the array of activities that Canadians can enjoy in the capital throughout next year.”

Speaking on behalf of the Province, Minister Yasir Naqvi (MPP, Ottawa Centre) noted that “Projects funded through this initiative will have a wide reach across the region and will serve to deepen our understanding of each other and strengthen our connections as Canadians.”

“This investment program is a win-win all around. The funding will engage Ottawa’s arts, culture and heritage communities to showcase excellence and creativity in cultural fields while providing residents and visitors with an increased quantity, quality and diversity of ways to celebrate Canadian culture and history in 2017 across the city,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau.

At a glance:

  • Application deadline: Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 4 p.m. EST;
  • A total of $250,000 in project funding is available;
  • Projects will be funded at a minimum of $5,000 and up to a maximum of $25,000 each;
  • Projects should be a new or enhanced activity for 2017;
  • All project activities must take place within the geographic boundaries of the City of Ottawa and must occur between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017;
  • Projects should be open and accessible to the general public.

An independent five-member jury, with representation from the Ottawa arts, cultural and heritage communities and one representative from the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, will assess the applications.

For full details on the Ottawa 2017 Arts, Culture and Heritage Investment Program, please visit:

Today’s announcement is the second in a series of three announcements concerning community investment for Ottawa 2017 celebrations. In November, Ottawa 2017 announced $150,000 towards the Ottawa Civic Events Funding Program to help local organizations plan unique celebrations for Canada’s Sesquicentennial all across the city. An announcement regarding festival funding will take place in the coming months.

Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.