Application Guidelines – Business Innovation component

Canada Periodical Fund

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Objectives and expected results for the Canada Periodical Fund

The Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) provides financial support to Canadian print magazines, non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals to enable them to overcome market disadvantages. The Fund ensures Canadians have access to diverse Canadian editorial content in printed magazines, printed non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals.

Objectives and expected results for the Business Innovation component

The Business Innovation component of the CPF provides financial support to eligible small and mid-sized print magazine and digital periodical publishers. The component encourages innovation to adapt to changing market conditions and contributes to the diversity of content sought by Canadian readers.

The Business Innovation component’s objectives are to:

Innovation may involve the adoption or use of new technologies, but can also involve changing your business model or adapting to changes in your environment, to deliver better products or services. Innovation generally refers to changing or creating more effective processes, products or ideas, to increase productivity, performance and sustainability. 

Examples of expected outcomes for the Business Innovation component include:

Application deadline

September 15

Applications will be accepted until September 15, or until all funding has been fully committed for the current Government of Canada fiscal year.

Applications should be received at least eight (8) weeks before the planned project start date.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your publishing firm and any affiliated companies must:

Print magazines only:

Digital periodicals only:

Start-up digital periodicals only:

Start-up pilot project

The Business Innovation component of the CPF has launched a pilot project to encourage and support the development of digital periodicals.

Business Innovation will provide up to $5,000 in start-up funding to help aspiring or emerging publishers and other creative entrepreneurs plan, launch or further develop a digital periodical.

If you already write, create, produce or publish online, you may be eligible to apply for funding to extend your platform, to expand your activities, or to lay a foundation for the transition to a more established digital publishing venture.

Funding will be project-based and applicants will be required to cover at least 50% of project costs through cash or in-kind contributions. Priority will be given to applicants who raise the necessary funds through successful crowdfunding campaigns.

To be eligible for start-up funding, applicants must:

For more information or a copy of the start-up application form, please contact us.

Eligible periodicals

Periodicals must meet the following criteria (as applicable):

Print magazines and digital periodicals must: 

Print magazines must:

Both the subscription and the single-copy prices must appear on the cover or in the masthead of the magazine.

Aboriginal, ethnocultural, official-language minority and gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered (GLBT) magazines are not required to maintain 50% paid or request circulation, nor are they required to meet the minimum average price criteria. 

Digital periodicals must:

Ineligible periodicals include:

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding from the Business Innovation component, your project must:

The Business Innovation component supports projects with a clear and compelling business rationale. Effective proposals should clearly identify the specific business context and explain how the project is addressing business objectives.

New or returning applicants may consider undertaking market research or the development of a business or marketing plan.

The amount of funding available for research and planning activities is:

Eligible projects include (but are not limited to):

We encourage applications for projects that explore export opportunities for Canadian publications.

Eligible expenses

We will fund only project-related expenses, which can be of cash and in-kind value. These may include:

Total project costs must be proportional to the publisher’s scale of operations.

In-kind contributions are considered real contributions to the cost of the proposed project, but are not reimbursable. Donated goods and services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

Ineligible expenses include:

We cannot fund expenses incurred before we receive your application. If you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

We reserve the right to limit the amount claimed as in-kind contribution and to obtain independent appraisals to determine the value of in-kind contributions.

A salary paid to an individual working directly on the project must be considered as a cash contribution.

Eligibility criteria

We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, applicants are required to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization, the private sector or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Business Innovation component of the CPF and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 75% of the total project-related costs.

We can fund up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000 per periodical, per government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). For projects spanning two government fiscal years, the total requested amount cannot exceed $75,000.

For applicants to the Start-up Pilot Project, we can fund up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $5,000 in total.

You may submit only one application to Business Innovation per periodical, per fiscal year.

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months. You must then show that there is a need for a multi-year commitment and that you have the capacity to complete the project. This is demonstrated with a realistic project timeline and budget projections as well as sound governance and continued financial viability. 

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application. 

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes the signed Application Form (PDF version, 328 KB) and the following supporting documents:

Business modelCirculation measureSupporting document

Paid subscription service

Average number of paid subscribers over six months.

Declaration in application form.
Applicants must retain a copy of their subscribers list for five years in case we should conduct an audit.

Email-based service

Average number of registered email recipients over six months.

Declaration in application form.
Applicants must retain a copy of the email recipients list for five years in case we should conduct an audit.

Open-access service

Average number of unique monthly visitors over six months.

A valid report from a web auditing tool such as Google Analytics (free), Web Trends, or an accepted audit circulation board.

We reserve the right to refuse a report that is deemed unacceptable.

We reserve the right to request additional information or clarifications at any time.  

Application process

Please submit your application in only one format.

Mail or courier submissions

You can mail or courier your complete application package to the head office of the Department of Canadian Heritage.  

Your application must be postmarked no later than the published deadline to be considered.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Funding decisions are based on the number and quality of applications received. Your application will be reviewed for eligibility and then evaluated based on the criteria below. 

New applications from current Business Innovation recipients will not be considered unless all outstanding deliverables and final reports have been submitted under the terms of their funding agreements.

Evaluation criteria

Your application will be evaluated by a Review Committee who will compare and prioritize it with other applications in relation to the funds available.

Application processing time

For application processing time, please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the program.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of submitting your application.

Funding decisions

Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final. 

How funding is provided

We provide funding in the form of a contribution.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued to your organization for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The funding agreement is signed by us and your organization and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of your project you must submit a final report.

Funding conditions

You may be required to submit interim reports during your project.

Additional conditions may apply and will be included in your funding agreement.

Official languages requirements

We are committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application or in your funding agreement. 

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly acknowledge – in English and/or in French – the financial support received from us in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

We are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you submit in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these Acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic Program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation. 

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Periodical Fund – Business Innovation
25 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5



1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)


1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).


Aboriginal communities

Aboriginal communities include First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

Aboriginal periodical

A periodical that is primarily targeted to, concerned with and serving First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities.


Includes paid advertising, contra or in-kind advertisements, native advertising and advertorials. Does not include charitable, public service, house advertisements, the masthead, or other non-revenue pages.

Advertorial content (new definition)

Content of a periodical that promotes or presents the interests, opinions, services or products of an advertiser in a similar style, format and layout as the editorial content. Advertorial content is considered to be advertising.

Affiliated companies

Companies are considered affiliated if:

Articles of incorporation

A legal document filed with the federal, provincial or territorial government that sets out a corporation's purpose and regulations.

Average circulation

The total number of copies circulated during the financial year divided by the total number of issues published during that financial year. 

Business number (BN)

A unique, nine-digit number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency to a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, trust or other organization. You can register online with the Canada Revenue Agency to obtain a business number.

Business plan

A written document that describes your organization’s current status and plans for two to five years. It identifies future opportunities and includes the financial, operational and marketing strategies to achieve your goals.

Canadian ownership and control:

An eligible publishing firm or periodical must be majority owned and controlled by a Canadian. For the program, “Canadian” means:

If, at any time, one or more persons who are not described in any of paragraphs a) to e) of this definition of Canadian have any direct or indirect influence through a trust, an agreement, an arrangement or otherwise that, if exercised, would lead to a control in fact of the publishing firm, the firm is deemed not to be Canadian-owned.

Canadian corporation

As an exception to the requirement for both Canadian ownership and Canadian control, publishing firms that are owned by Canadians and have operated in Canada as a publisher of periodicals for at least thirty years can be considered eligible.  

Cash flow

A presentation of all anticipated revenues and planned expenses that will occur over the length of your project. At the beginning of your project, your cash flow will have only forecasted revenues and expenses. Over time, your cash flow will be updated to reflect the actual revenues and expenses.

Circulation report

A circulation report issued by an accepted audit circulation board that reports on the volume of circulation by source, circulation type by breakout, locations of distribution and selling price for a magazine during a specific period.

Complimentary circulation

The number of copies distributed free of charge.

Controlled circulation

Copies distributed free of charge on a regular basis to consumers selected by the publisher.

Digital periodical

A digital periodical is defined as primarily text, photography, and illustrated editorial content accessible through a digital platform (e.g. a website, download, or email) and updated regularly under a common title and governed by an editorial function (editor).

Digital non-replica periodical

A periodical that is the digital version of a print magazine and contains at least 50% of original content.

Editorial content

The space in a periodical, excluding advertising and non-revenue pages, that consists of text, photographs, graphics and illustrations. For additional information, see the definition of Canadian editorial content.

Canadian editorial content

Editorial content (text, photographs, graphics, and illustrations) created or translated by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Translated editorial content by a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of this Act will be considered Canadian editorial content if the editorial content  it is translated into is one of the two official languages. Translation does not modify the nature of the editorial content.

Editorial function/edited in Canada

The commissioning of editorial material and artwork, directing writers, illustrators and photographers regarding the final form of the material; laying out, copyediting; proofreading; and otherwise preparing the content for publication; must be done in Canada.

Ethnocultural communities

A group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage or culture. For the purpose of this definition, ethnocultural communities include Canadians of diverse culture such as, but not limited to African, Arab, Asian, Latin American or mixed heritage.

Ethnocultural periodical

A periodical that primarily serves, or is primarily concerned with, a commonly recognized specific cultural or racially distinct community or specific linguistic group using a language other than English or French. An ethnocultural periodical may be published in any language.

Final report

A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project and include a final report of actual revenues and expenses.

Financial statements

A complete set of financial statements, including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.

Audited financial statements

A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.

Fiscal year (of the Government)

Refers to the federal government fiscal year, which starts on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year.

Foreign editorial content

Editorial content (text and images) created or translated by a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. If the creator or translator is unknown, or if the citizenship cannot be determined, the editorial content is deemed foreign.

GLBT periodical

A periodical that primarily serves or is primarily concerned with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered communities.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

An internationally agreed upon standard number that uniquely identifies a publication. It is assigned by the ISSN Network.

Interim reports

Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your interim report will provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for a specific period, a report on the status of work to be accomplished and include updated revenue and expense reports.


A series of words, numbers, paragraphs, photos, or other items, which may include descriptions, opinions or analysis. Examples include stock listings, sports scores and standings, television listings, product descriptions and restaurant descriptions. Adding star ratings or other indicators to descriptive text does not constitute opinion or analysis.


A print magazine is commonly recognized as a magazine that is paginated and bound, that appears in consecutively numbered or dated issues, that is published under a common title at regular intervals, and that may possess an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN).


The section of a periodical that lists information on the staff, the publisher and the editorial board, and provides contact information.

Newsletter (for print magazines)

A print magazine scoring six or more points on the following scale is a newsletter and is not eligible under the Business Innovation component.


1. No cover page – the articles start immediately


2. Unbound


3. Fewer than 20 pages


4. No table of contents


5. Does not list authors


6. No full masthead


7. No regular editorial columns or letters to the editor


8. Part of a continued series (volumes)




Newspaper (for print magazines)

A print magazine scoring six or more points on the following scale is a newspaper and is not eligible to the Business Innovation component.


1. Broadsheet format, tabloid format or outsized (larger than 8-1/2 x 11 inches)


2. Unbound


3. Printed on any type of newsprint


4. Identified as a newspaper (daily or non-daily)


5. Cover subdivided (articles, boxed photos)


6. Advertising on front cover


7. Divided into detachable regular sections, such as news, analysis, entertainment, sports




Non-revenue pages

All pages other than advertising pages, contra or editorial. They can include self-promotional pages, pages donated to local charities or businesses, delivery of in-kind services, etc. Blank pages are considered non-revenue pages.

Offensive content

Periodicals or projects that, in our opinion, contain or promote any of the following:

The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.

Official-language minority periodical

A periodical that is published in English or French in a region of Canada where the language and content of the periodical primarily serves and is concerned with an official-language minority community (i.e. a French-language community outside of Quebec or an English-language community in Quebec).

Paid circulation

Copies of a magazine sold through subscriptions, single-copies/newsstand sales, and sponsored copies.

Professional association periodical

A periodical which meets all the following conditions:

Publishing cycle

The number of issues of a periodical, pre-determined by the publishing firm, that are published during the 12-month financial year.

Registered email recipient

A person to whom an email message is sent directly and has previously agreed to be contacted to receive the content.

Request circulation (eligible copies)

Non-paid eligible copies of magazines that are individually addressed to recipients who have directly requested them from a publishing firm using written, telephone, email or fax requests.

Applicants under direct request circulation must provide 12-month circulation reports from an accepted audit circulation board.

Special issue

Sponsored copies

Copies purchased by a sponsor for distribution to targeted consumers to increase its business relationship with the consumers.


An individual who has knowingly paid or undertaken to pay for a subscription to a periodical, to be delivered over a specified period.

Unique monthly visitor

Visitor of a website for which the number of visits of the same site, for 30 days, is counted only once. Sites often calculate unique visitors based on the Internet Protocol (IP) address information.


An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.


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