Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Digital Museums Canada (DMC) is committed to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) within the sector. We pledge to strengthen access to DMC funding across the country, including access for rural and northern communities. DMC recognizes the unique, rights-based relationship between First Nations, Inuit, Métis and the Government of Canada, and supports the rights of Indigenous Peoples as articulated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report, and in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Although DMC welcomes proposals from all eligible organizations, DMC wants to address barriers faced by specific priority groups. This consideration is reflected in program criteria, and in evaluations by the Advisory Committee, with a goal of 25 percent representation of projects from priority groups. This remains at the discretion of the Advisory Committee and is subject to the proposals received.
Priority groups are defined as organizations led by, and mandated to support, First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis; official language minority communities; people who are Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing; persons with disabilities; 2SLGBTQI+ and gender-diverse communities; Black communities; racialized communities; or another equity-deserving group or people at the intersections of these groups.
The following DMC and application assistance resources can help strengthen a proposal.
- Information sessions
- Community Stories
- English – September 21, 2023
- French – September 20, 2023
- Digital Projects
- English – September 28, 2023
- French – September 27, 2023
- Community Stories
- Office hours
- October 18, 2023 at 11 a.m. EDT
- October 25, 2023 at 12 p.m. EDT
- November 1, 2023 at 1 p.m. EDT
- November 8, 2023 at 2 p.m. EST
- November 15, 2023 at 3 p.m. EST
Stay tuned for the registration links.
- Application-related questions via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
No, the DMC project can not be a copy of an existing on site or online exhibition or product (such as a digitized catalogue). The online project can use existing research or materials as a starting point, but should be a unique, stand-alone product conceived for an online audience. The online project must have its own URL, and must be based on an autonomous web architecture and data repository.
Canadian museums and heritage, cultural and Indigenous organizations are eligible for the Digital Museums Canada investment program.
Organizations cannot be a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio.
For more information, see the Eligibility Questionnaire.
Note: Any organization previously funded by DMC that wishes to submit a proposal in this year’s Call for Proposals must have completed any existing DMC-funded projects prior to the deadline of December 1. That is, a new proposal cannot be submitted if a previously funded one is still in development.
Yes. DMC will still support a project that has received funding from another program. The budget you submit with your application must clearly outline how you plan to allocate all monies contributed to the project, whether from DMC, the lead organization for the project, or other organizations or funding programs.
Choosing an investment stream
You can find examples in the Funded projects tab on this website.
Community Stories are websites that are built with the DMC’s authoring tool, a user-friendly website building platform based in WordPress. This stream is an ideal level for museums, heritage, cultural and indigenous organizations that have an engaging story to tell but would prefer to use a readymade tool to produce it. Digital Projects are (generally speaking) more sizeable online projects, built from the ground up, in collaboration with a web development agency. This choice is ideal for organizations who want to design the user experience and interface from scratch. Typically, Community Stories take less time to produce, they must be launched in 2 years, whereas in Digital Projects they are launched in 4 years or less.
As of April 2023, the “Medium” and “Large” streams are referred to simply as Digital Projects. In this stream projects are built from the ground up, in collaboration with a web development agency. There are two investment amounts, in the first instance, (previously referred to as the “Medium” stream), organizations whose proposals are accepted receive up to $150,000. In the second, (previously referred to as the “Large” stream), organizations receive between $150,000 and $250,000. For more information see Digital Projects.
As of April 2023, the small stream is referred to simply as Community Stories. The stream remains the same — websites are built with the DMC’s authoring tool, a user-friendly website building platform. For more information see Community Stories.
No. It’s up to you to choose the investment stream. Your decision will depend on several factors, including your vision for the project, the needs of your target audience(s), how much content you’ll need to create, the technical complexity of the experience, the digital capacity of your team, and the resources you can contribute to the project.
We strongly recommend you submit one complete well articulated proposal rather than multiple proposals lacking details. Consider which of your topics is most compelling, relevant to target audience and timely. If you still choose to go with multiple proposals, there are two caveats: you have to meet the eligibility requirements for each stream; if more than one project is selected for investment, you’ll have to choose which one to proceed with, because we only invest in one project from an organization at a time.
You cannot submit more than one project to the same investment stream. Please read the guidelines and evaluation criteria carefully, so that you can accurately assess the work required to prepare a quality proposal.
No. Once you go through the exercise of designing and describing your project (audience, outcomes, content, user experience, technology, project team, budget and schedule), you should have a good idea of which stream you should submit it to.
Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applicants upon written request only, provided that the request is received within two weeks of receipt of the letter of rejection. Feedback will be provided by video conference. No written summary of feedback or evaluation scores will be provided.
In response to changing needs in the digital landscape, DMC is looking at new ways to share knowledge with the community. New resources will be available in the coming months. To learn more as these new initiatives are developed, keep an eye on the website and subscribe to the DMC mailing list.
That depends on many factors. Generally speaking, preparing a proposal is a significant undertaking, so we always recommend starting early and submitting with time to spare.
Each year the Call for Proposals is open from June 15 to December 1. Outside of these dates, information is available to start your application, but the proposal cannot be submitted.
Projects funded through the Community Stories stream don’t need a web developer or digital agency because you build them using the website building platform provided.
In the Digital Projects stream, projects are built from the ground up, in collaboration with an external web developer of the applicant’s choice. Web development agencies should have proven experience building accessible products. For additional guidance, please consult our resource on Choosing your Web Development Team.
When an application is submitted, the organization is not required to have selected an agency. However, having one identified often strengthens the proposal, as an agency can assist with questions related to technology, the user experience, and accessibility
We are interested in the team you put together to carry out your project. This can include people from the lead organization, as well as other organizations, independent experts, members of the community, etc. If you can demonstrate that you have the capacity in-house to deliver your project, your application will not be negatively affected.
We provide a schedule template for the Community Stories investment stream only. There is no schedule template for the Digital Projects investment streams. You can find details on how to create a schedule in the program guidelines for these streams. Remember to provide approximate dates, durations and details for each task. Also, make sure that there are no discrepancies in the information you provide in the project description, budget, schedule and support letters.
Yes. If you plan to apply with the same project, remember to take advantage of the debrief process to get feedback on your proposal.
No. There should be a good fit between the audience you want to reach, the content you will present, the story you want to tell and the experience you want to create. Be as specific as possible about who the project will reach and why it’s aimed at them. “All Canadians” is typically too broad a target audience and will mean the content is too generic.
Content and user experience
Select a topic or story that is relevant and timely for the organization, the target audience, and the broader community. Questions to consider include:
- Why now?
- Why is the subject critical?
- Does it fill a gap in knowledge about the subject or history?
- Does it encourage community participation?
- Does it tell an untold story about a community?
- Does it offer a new perspective?
- Does it support Indigenous heritage or language preservation?
- Does it support Truth and Reconciliation, and repatriation?
- Does it support BIPOC and/or LGBTQ2SI+ stories?
- Does it support diaspora or minority language communities?
- Does it support communities facing accessibility challenges?
The lead organization must be Canadian, not necessarily the content.
For inspiration, look at the projects on digitalmuseums.ca, as well as award-winning projects from the wider digital cultural community (e.g. GLAMi Awards (Museweb), Media & Technology MUSE Awards (American Alliance of Museums), Museums + Heritage Awards (UK), The Webby Awards, etc.).
The user experience has to be the same in English and French. At an early phase, we will request and verify a sample translation to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
It depends on your audience and the outcomes you have identified for them. More practically, prepare your budget and see what’s possible.
No. DMC funded projects cannot have commercial aims or include elements such as an e-commerce platform.
Funded projects must be complete at launch, reflecting as fully as possible the detailed project description in the agreement. If you decide to add content after the launch to a project funded through the Digital Projects stream, it should be accessible, bilingual, and written and edited to the same standard as the original project. It should also follow technical best practices.
No. DMC invests in complete online experiences. The application process is designed to help you describe the project you plan to develop and launch. Because the selection process is competitive, there is no guarantee of more DMC funding to develop future phases.
With the Community Stories investment stream, you can develop an engaging story created with DMC’s website-building platform. In the Digital Projects investment stream, your project must provide a complete online experience for users, with content that can be viewed in any location, without specialized equipment. Examples include virtual exhibits, virtual tours, web-based games, web applications and educational resources.
We encourage and welcome proposals for online projects that offer immersive experiences. Our technical specifications shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your vision, but we expect you to include in your proposal an approach for making the content accessible outside the immersive experience if it is not accessible to as many people as possible within it.
Yes, but DMC funding must go to the web version only. In your proposal, you must give priority to the online project above any onsite version.
No, but you are free to adapt content created with DMC funding for other purposes, such as displaying a version of your virtual exhibit at a kiosk or using a game as a teaching resource. Your primary purpose in applying for DMC funding should be to create a rich and engaging online experience, not to develop content for use in an onsite presentation.
- DMC recommends that the project team include these key roles (at minimum):
- Project manager / Coordinator
- Educator / Interpretive planner
- Professional translator
- Professional editor
- Web development agency*
- Other roles to consider (if applicable) include:
- Archivist / Digitization specialist
- Sound technician
- Community consultant
- Evaluator / Test audience
- Curriculum consultant
- Accessibility consultant*
*For Digital Projects
- The project team can include staff from the organization, as well as external contractors hired with funding from DMC. Writers, editors, producers for video/audio, and translators are often hired externally with DMC funds.
- One person can play more than one role, but be mindful of capacity.
- Include community members whose histories are represented whenever possible in the project team.
- Whenever possible, all roles should be remunerated. Be careful not to rely too heavily on volunteers, students or temporary staff.
Consult “Creating Engaging Online Experiences: An Introduction for Museums and Heritage Organizations” for further information on building the project team.
As an investment program with a competitive process, DMC is unable to recommend a developer or agency for your project. The agency should have web design, front-end and back-end web development experience, as well as proven knowledge of accessibility and WCAG principles. For more information, consult “How to hire a web development agency”.
Projects funded through the Community Stories stream must be launched within 24 months (or less). Projects funded through the Digital Projects stream must launch within four years (or less).
Once the Call for Proposals has closed, an arm’s-length Advisory Committee will begin a selection process, culminating in a list of proposals recommended for investment.
At the end of the evaluation period, all applicants will receive a letter of award or regret from the Canadian Museum of History.
- June 15: Call for Proposals opens.
- Summer and Fall: Application assistance and information sessions available.
- December 1: Call for Proposals closes.
- Mid-April: Letters of Award and Regret are issued.
- May 30: DMC agreements are signed by both parties.
- June 1: Development process begins.
No. Your budget should accurately reflect the costs associated with your project. Show how you calculate your costs, and provide support documentation, such as quotes. DMC’s team will review the budget for ineligible and questionable costs.
No. DMC funding can only cover eligible costs incurred after the agreement is signed.
No. However, we do expect to see a contribution (financial and/or in-kind) from the organization leading the project, along with other members of the team.
No. Your budget should accurately reflect the costs associated with your project, as well as the funding capacity of the lead organization and other members of the team.
No. Your budget should accurately reflect the costs associated with your project, as well as the capacity of the lead organization and other members of the team.
Contingency fees are not an eligible cost for DMC funding. However, these fees can be part of your organization’s contribution.
This type of contribution is generally calculated based on the number of hours or days the person estimates they will work on the project, multiplied by their hourly or daily rate.
Salary and contract costs directly associated with the creation of the online project are eligible. DMC funding can fully cover these costs, or you can divide them between DMC funding and your organization’s contribution. Your payroll costs are considered an in-kind contribution by your organization, while contract fees are a financial contribution. Remember to show how you calculated these costs.
Rights and privacy
Yes. Barring other arrangements, your organization retains full ownership of the content and material featured in your DMC-funded project, including digitized images. As part of the five-year investment agreement, your organization grants DMC a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence for communications and promotional purposes.
All proposals will be treated as confidential, subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act (Canada) and Privacy Act (Canada) and any other relevant laws and regulations.