Where to start?

1. Review the eligibility requirements and choose your funding stream.

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Small (Community Stories) Medium Large
To be eligible for investment, Canadian museums, and heritage organizations, including equivalent Indigenous peoples’ organizations, must meet the following criteria:
  • Be administered in the public interest for the primary purpose of collecting, preserving, documenting, interpreting, exhibiting and disseminating physical collections and/or intangible cultural heritage. This includes artistic, scientific, cultural and historical material.
  • Operate a permanent establishment or site.
  • Be an aquarium, archive, art gallery, botanical garden, cultural centre, equivalent Indigenous peoples’ organization, exhibition centre, historic house, historical society, library, museum, planetarium, preservation project or site, professional cultural association or group, zoo or other organization that meets these eligibility requirements.[1]
  • Be not-for-profit.
  • Not be a member of the Canadian Heritage Portfolio.
Size of organization ≤ 5 full-time permanent employees and volunteer run organizations Any size Any size
Investment $15,000 $50,000 - $150,000 $150,000 - $250,000
Typical development timeframe 2 years 2 - 3 years 3 - 4 years
Development structure 3 Phases 5 Phases 5 Phases
Platform DMC provided template Requires development during project with digital specialists Requires development during project with digital specialists
[1] According to International Council of Museums (ICOM), “A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”

2. Determine if your project is eligible
for DMC investment.

  • Eligible projects must provide the user with a complete online experience.
    • Complete: The content at launch provides the full user experience.
    • Online: Content is accessed through a web browser at any time, from any location, without specialized equipment.
    • Experience (for the user): Content is designed for a target audience or audiences.
  • Examples include virtual exhibits, virtual tours, immersive experiences, online games, web apps, educational resources and more.
  • Please note that collection digitization and database projects, as well as corporate websites are not eligible for investment.
  • The online project must be unique and standalone (we do not support digital versions of onsite exhibitions, online catalogues, microsites, etc.)

3. Review the proposal form questions (Medium, Large) so you are aware of the questions and supporting documents required before applying.

4. Register your profile on the online application platform and submit your eligibility.

Additional tips for completing your application form

Applications are evaluated out of 100 points.

Subject (8 points)

  • What is the “big idea” that you aim to communicate? You can think of it as a topic or thesis.
  • Focus on one strong idea or topic, rather than numerous ideas.
  • Be as specific as possible: your content and user experience need to be tailored to your audience.
  • Articulate why your subject is important, timely and interesting; consider questions like “why now?” and “why is this topic critical?”

Target audience (12 points)

  • Target audiences are a group of people who share key traits or characteristics, and whom an online project aims to attract and engage.
  • Specificity strengthens your application. Chose a primary and secondary target audience(s). It is impossible to create a project that appeals to everyone.
  • Define outcomes: What are the reasons for which you are doing this? Why is it relevant to your target audience(s)?
  • Consider your design, approach, tone, and language level; it should be tailored to engage your target audience, to meet their needs and to achieve the project outcomes.
  • If your target audience is students of a specific age group, grade, or university level, specify any curricular connections and describe how your project will address these.

Content (16 points)

  • Describe and estimate the quantities and types of media. For example, indicate that we will be recording 12 video interviews, digitizing 15 newspapers and scanning 3 photos of artifacts.
  • Indicate what content already exists and what content will be created or researched.
  • Include a variety of media types and sources (i.e., videos, audio, archival photographs, artworks, newspapers, maps, advertising, you name it).
  • Select your materials mindfully so they connect to the subject and outcomes.
  • If your project includes user-generated content, explain how it will be collected and how it will be managed.
  • Include a plan for meaningful consultation and relationship building with communities or groups whose histories are represented in your project.

User experience (20 points)

  • User experience is defined as: the design and the technical aspects of the project that enhance the users’ ease of access, engagement, and enjoyment of the project.
  • Simulate the experience the user will have. We should be able to visualize the whole experience. Include as many descriptive details as possible about the design, look and feel, navigation, functionality and even mood of the online project.
  • Articulate what the user will see, hear, do, think, feel, etc., as they engage with your project.
  • Consider how the online experience will be different from, or not feasible in, the physical world. For example, think of a project about a shipwreck, the interior of a mine, the body of a whale or an up-close look at a painting. All these experiences are ideally suited to an online experience.

Technology (12 points)

  • Consult with a web development agency throughout the application process. The application should be written with their input. Most web developers will provide complimentary help with the understanding that this is a proposal for funding.
  • Review our technical requirements with the agency.
  • Ask the agency to specify tools and technologies and explain how they will enhance the user experience and support your audience outcomes.
  • There are many types of online experiences, a single project might encompass one or more. Some examples include:
    • Immersive environment – Places users into a real or imagined world. It blends visuals, sound, and interactive components that create a sense of “being there.”
      • E.g., 360-degree videos or animations.
    • Exploratory – Gives users the choice and control to determine how they move through the experience. They can take a variety of forms, but they are inherently non-linear in their structure.
      • E.g., interactive mind maps, quests, or journeys.
    • Gamification – Requires users to solve a problem, accomplish a specific goal, or compete against others.
      • E.g., puzzles, mysteries, or games.
    • Documentary – Provides factual accounts of historical events or life experiences, using veritable documentation and reports.
      • E.g., timelines, visualized data, or image carousels.
    • Diaristic – Invites users to explore the complex inner worlds, deeply held personal collections, and documented experiences of those who made and lived through history.
      • E.g., annotated diaries, home videos, audio recordings.

Project team (16 points)

  • Identify the internal and external roles required for the project, make sure to address any gaps in your team.
  • Team members can come from the organization leading the project, other organizations, the community, and contracted service providers.
  • Project teams typically include a selection of these roles:
    • Project manager
    • Researcher
    • Interpretive planner
    • Writer
    • Editor
    • Translator
    • Comparative editor
    • Videographer
    • Content consultant or subject matter expert
    • Designer
    • Web developer
    • Test audience
    • Marketing expert

Budget and schedule (16 points)


  • Review the eligible and ineligible costs (medium, large) for DMC funding.
  • Itemize all the tasks involved in the project and estimate their costs.
  • Budgeted items should include a basis for calculation (e.g., rate and estimated time, cost per unit, fixed price, etc.) For example, translation of 12 labels at price x 12, digitization of 6 maps at price x 6, project manager at hourly rate x hours, web developer at hourly rate x hours, etc.
  • Itemize all tasks involved in the project and estimate the costs for them.
  • You can supplement your DMC project with funding from other sources or funders. Financial and in-kind contributions from other organizations should be reflected in a letter of support and itemized in the budget.


  • Itemize all the tasks involved in the project.
  • Identify who will perform each task (e.g., translation led by name of person, research led by name of person, filming led by name of person, editing led by name of person, etc.)
  • Estimate how long each task will take; include start and end dates for each task.
  • Consult your team and experts when determining time allowances; allocate time for community consultations and user testing, if appropriate.
  • Review the deliverables in section 6.1 (medium, large) of the website and ensure that DMC Phases are included as part of your schedule.
  • Schedule at least one or two rounds of DMC verification and changes at the end of each phase.
  • Schedule time for internal reviews at each phase before submitting your deliverable to DMC.
  • The schedule and budget should talk to each other and be coherent.