Department of Canadian Heritage
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|Type||Department responsible for |
|Annual budget||CAD$ 3.9 billion (2018)|
|Deputy Minister responsible|
The Department of Canadian Heritage, or simply Canadian Heritage (French: Patrimoine canadien), is the department of the Government of Canada that has roles and responsibilities related to initiatives that promote and support "Canadian identity and values, cultural development, and heritage". To fulfill these tasks, the department coordinates a portfolio of several agencies and corporations that operate in a similar area of interest. While the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Canadian Heritage have remained relatively constant over the years, the department and composition of its portfolio remain in flux due to continuing structural changes.
Headquartered in the Jules Léger Building (South) (Édifice Jules Léger (Sud)) in Terrasses de la Chaudière, Gatineau, Quebec, across the Ottawa River from the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the Department of Canadian Heritage was founded on June 25, 1993. It is an umbrella organization that has one of the largest portfolios in the Canadian federal government. The organizations in the portfolio support the Department of Canadian Heritage in the pursuit of its priorities while also striving to achieve their individual mandates.
In addition to coordinating with the organizations in its portfolio, the Department of Canadian Heritage also partners with provincial and territorial governments to organize and oversee visits from the Queen of Canada and other members of the royal family.
In 2018, the department had a budget of roughly $3.9 billion.
Officials and Structure
Activities at the department are overseen by several senior officials. At the top is the Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism, currently Pablo Rodríguez, who gets reports directly from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Activities related to official languages and the French television network, TV5, are handled by the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. This position is currently held by Mélanie Joly. Matters related to Canadian sports and services are handled by the Minister of Science and Sport, who is currently Kristy Duncan.
The department is divided into four different areas that each have their own Assistant Deputy Minister.
The four sectors and their Assistant Deputy Ministers are:
- Sports, Major Events and Commemorations, administered by the Assistant Deputy Minister, Andrew Campbell
- Citizenship, Heritage and Regions, managed by Assistant Deputy Minister, Charles Slowey
- Cultural Affairs, lead by Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Jean-Stéphane Piché
- Strategic policy, Planning and Corporate Affairs, overseen by Assistant Deputy Minister, David Dendooven
The portfolio of the Department of Canadian Heritage consists of two special operating agencies, four departmental agencies, twelve Crown corporations, and one administrative tribunal. They all report to Parliament through the same Minister.
The four departmental agencies in the portfolio are Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Library and Archives Canada, the National Battlefields Commission, and the National Film Board of Canada.
The following Crown corporations are also part of the portfolio:
- Canada Council for the Arts
- Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights
- Canadian Museum of History
- Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
- Canadian Museum of Nature
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation
- National Arts Centre
- National Capital Commission
- National Gallery of Canada
- Telefilm Canada
The only administrative tribunal in the portfolio is called the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.
Financial support activities
The Department of Canadian Heritage gives out roughly $1.2 billion in grants annually.
Funding is available for programs that contribute to the objectives of the Department of Canadian Heritage. These departmental objectives include those that relate to supporting culture, history, heritage, sport and Canada's official languages.
The Department of Canadian Heritage requires that application forms be submitted by the deadlines that are specified under the specific funding program's application guidelines in order to be considered for financial support. A confirmation notice is sent by the department within two weeks of getting an application, and a decision on whether funding will be granted or not is made within thirteen to thirty weeks, depending on the funding program. The first payment is made on or before the fourth week after the Department of Canadian Heritage has sent out a written notice that an application has been approved.
The Department of Canadian Heritage provides funds for the following programs:
- Aboriginal People's Program
- Athlete Assistance Program
- Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage
- Canada Arts Presentation Fund
- Canada Arts Training Fund
- Canada Book Fund
- Canada Cultural Investment Fund
- Canada Cultural Spaces Fund
- Canada History Fund
- Canada Media Fund
- Canada Music Fund
- Canada Periodical Fund
- Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program
- Canada Conservation Institute internship programs
- Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit
- Celebrate Canada
- Commemorate Canada
- Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program
- Court Challenges Program
- Creative Export Canada
- Destination Clic- French Enrichment Bursary Program
- Documentary Heritage Community Program
- Economic Development Initiative
- Exchanges Canada
- Explore - Second Language Bursary Program
- Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit
- Movable Cultural Property Grants
- Museums Assistance Program
- Odyssey- Language Assistance Program
- Official Languages Funding Programs
- Sport Canada Hosting Program
- Sport Support Program
- Young Canada Works
- Youth Take Charge Program
The Department of Canadian Heritage was created from parts of several other federal departments. Parks Canada was taken from Environment Canada in 1994, and the Department of Canadian Heritage also inherited activities that formerly belonged to the Department of Communications, the Department of Secretary of State, the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, and the Department of Fitness and Amateur Sport during that same year. The Department of Canadian Heritage has gone through several structural and portfolio changes since then.
In 2003, Parks Canada was returned to the jurisdiction of Environment Canada, and the Department of Canadian Heritage added the Public Service Staff Relations Board to its portfolio. The Public Service Staff Relations Board was removed from the portfolio in 2014, when the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board Act came into force. This established the Public Service Staff Relations Board as a quasi-judicial tribunal that operates at arm's length from the government.
In late 2008, the multiculturalism section of the Department of Canadian Heritage was transferred to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, then transferred back again in November, 2015. The Status of Women component of the department moved away from the Department of Canadian Heritage's umbrella to become its own department in 2018.
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