Culture & Events Grants

2023/2024  MLSER and Regional Special Events Grants Programs

The Culture and Events division of the municipality administers two different funding programs; the Marketing Levy Special Event Reserve Grants program and the Regional Special Events Grants program. These programs are intended to support events that foster good community relations, supports culture, develops the local economy and tourism industry, and enriches the quality of life of all residents and visitors.

Marketing Levy Special Event Reserve Grants Program

The Marketing Levy Special Event Reserve Grant program is governed by the Marketing Levy Special Event Reserve (MLSER) Administration Order Number 2014-020-GOV. The MLSER program provides financial support to large scale special events in Halifax Regional Municipality that support and promote tourism and business development. The program has four established funding sectors; Signature Events, Distinguished Events, Emerging New Events, and Major Hosting Events.  Funding for this program is generated from the 2% hotel tax that applies to overnight sleeping establishments with twenty (20) rooms or more. 

Distinguished Events

The Distinguished Events program supports large one-time tourism events that have a minimum budget of $50,000 which have high potential for national and international exposure and encourage multiple day visits to the Municipality. The maximum grant award through this program is up to $50,000. Events in this program are scored on number of room nights generated, economic impacts and media exposure.

The first application intake for funding Distinguished Events occurring between April 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023 is NOW CLOSED

2023/2024 Distinguished Events 1st Intake Application - NOW CLOSED

The second application intake for funding Distinguished Events occurring between October 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 will open May 1, 2023. The DEADLINE to submit an application will be May 31, 2023.

New & Emerging Events

This program supports new/emerging events that address gaps in the existing event calendar and have the potential to become an annual tourism event. Organizations must have operated for a minimum of one (1) year, and the event must have a minimum budget of $50,000. The maximum grant award through this program is $25,000. The business case must show how the event would benefit the Municipality and increase tourism and business development in the “shoulder and/or off season” (November to April). Preference will be given to organizations that have secured funding from other level/s of government and corporate sponsorship.

The first application intake for funding New & Emerging Events occurring between April 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023 is NOW CLOSED

2023/2024 New & Emerging Events 1st Intake Application - NOW CLOSED

The second application intake for funding New & Emerging Events occurring between October 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 will open May 1, 2023. The DEADLINE to submit an application will be May 30, 2023.

Signature Events 

This program supports large, annual tourism events that have a minimum budget of $100,000 and have been in existence for a minimum of five consecutive years. The maximum grant award through this program is 10% of the previous year's budget. As well, additional funding up to a maximum of 10% of the previous year’s total grant amount may be considered to support additional programming for an anniversary (quarter century (25) intervals) of the event. Events in this program are scored on number of room nights generated, economic impacts and media exposure. There is no restriction for annual funding from this program. 

Application intake for funding Signature Events is on a three year basis and is NOW CLOSED. The only application intake DEADLINE for funding events occurring between April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 and April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025 was NOVEMBER 1, 2021.

2022/2023, 2023/2024, 2024/2025 Signature Events Application - NOW CLOSED

Major Hosting Events

This program supports organizations bidding on the rights to host major events and supports programs, activities and services specific to the delivery of a major event being hosted in Halifax Regional Municipality. Events must be of a size and scope sufficient to draw tourists to the Municipality’s communities, attract significant media exposure, nationally and globally. Interested organizations for this program are to contact Shari Dillman at dillmas@halifax.ca

Events that are Not Eligible for funding under the MLSER program: 

  • consumer shows
  • conferences
  • private events
  • tradeshows
  • marketing initiatives 
  • seminars
  • clinics
  • symposiums
  • banquets
  • fundraising events 
  • political events
  • events that occur before April 1st of the respective submission year
  • events held outside of the municipality

Eligible Expenses:

Grants may be applied to programing, operating, marketing and promotional expenses. No portion of the grant shall be applied to staff wages, volunteer bursaries or honoraria; or paid to members or officers of an organization’s Board of Directors either directly or indirectly.

Applications: 

Major Hosting Events – Contact Shari Dillman at dillmas@halifax.ca

Marketing Levy Special Events Reserve Grants Deadlines

Program First Intake Deadline for Events that occur after April 1 of each year: Second Intake Deadline for Events that occur after October 1 of each year:
Program First Intake Deadline for Events that occur after April 1 of each year: Second Intake Deadline for Events that occur after October 1 of each year:
Distinguished Events November 30, 2022 May 31, 2023
New & Emerging Events November 30, 2022 May 31, 2023
Signature Events Closed Applications are accepted on a 3-year basis, the next intake will take place in the fall of 2024
Major Hosting Events Open intake -

Regional Special Events Grants 

The Regional Special Events Grants program is governed by the Regional Special Events Grants Administrative Order Number 2014-021-GOV.  This program provides financial support for Non-Profit Organizations that host events which foster positive community development, celebrate heritage, arts and culture, build bridges between diverse populations, enrich quality of life for residents and improves civic pride in the Municipality. To be eligible for funding, events must be open to the general public to attend, held within the Municipality and be fourteen (14) days or less in duration.

Community Celebrations

This program supports organizations that deliver small civic events that are a maximum of five (5) days in length, are organized primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of local residents, coincide with a community gathering or civic holiday, and are free to the public to attend. The maximum grant award through this program is $1,000. Applications are accepted annually

The only application intake for funding Community Celebrations events occurring between April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 is NOW CLOSED

2023/2024 Community Celebrations Application - NOW CLOSED

Established Community Festivals 

This program supports organizations that deliver events that are a maximum of seven (7) days in length, are organized primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of local residents and are accessible to the public with free or low cost activities. Events must have been in existence for a minimum of three (3) consecutive years and have a minimum budget of $10,000. The maximum grant award through this program is $25,000 and provides up to three (3) years of sustainable funding.

The only application intake for funding Established Community Festivals is on a three year basis and is NOW CLOSED. The  application intake DEADLINE for funding events occurring between April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 and April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025 was November 1, 2021.

2022/2023, 2023/2024, 2024/2025 Established Community Festivals Application - NOW CLOSED

Significant Anniversaries 

This program supports organizations that deliver events organized around major quarterly (25, 50, 75, etc.) anniversaries that celebrate Halifax Regional Municipality's heritage and community. Events must have a minimum budget of $5,000 and cannot be eligible for consideration under any other HRM program. The maximum grant award through this program is $10,000. Applications are accepted annually.

The only application intake for funding Significant Anniversaries events occurring between April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 is NOW CLOSED

2023/2024 Significant Anniversaries Application - NOW CLOSED

Cultural Events & Showcases 

This program supports organizations that deliver arts and culture festivals that have strong cultural content, are accessible to the public with free or low cost activities and further the disciplines of literary, media, performing and visual arts. Events must have a minimum budget of $50,000 and further the principles and objectives of the HRM Cultural Plan specifically the ‘Seven Pillars of Culture: (1) Heritage, (2) the Arts, (3) Community Design, (4) Life Long Learning, (5) Diversity, (6) Leisure and Celebration and (7) Economic Development. The maximum grant award through this program is $60,000 and provides up to three (3) years of sustainable funding. 

The only application intake for funding Cultural Events & Showcases is on a three year basis and is NOW CLOSED. The  application intake DEADLINE for funding events occurring between April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 and April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025 was November 21, 2021.

2022/2023, 2023/2024, 2024/2025 Cultural Events & Showcases Application - NOW CLOSED

Events that are Not Eligible for funding under the Regional Special Events grant program: 

  • sporting tournaments
  • consumer shows
  • conferences
  • private events
  • tradeshows 
  • seminars
  • clinics
  • symposiums
  • banquets
  • marketing initiatives 
  • fundraising events
  • political events
  • events receiving funding from other HRM sources
  • events that occur before April 1st of the respective submission year
  • events held outside of the municipality 

Eligible Expenses
Grants may be applied to programing, operating, marketing and promotional expenses. No portion of the grant shall be applied to staff wages, volunteer bursaries or honoraria; or paid to members or officers of an organization’s Board of Directors either directly or indirectly.

 

Regional Special Events Grants Deadlines

PROGRAM 2023/2024 Deadline: For events that occur after:
PROGRAM 2023/2024 Deadline: For events that occur after:
Community Celebrations November 30, 2022 April 1, 2023
Cultural Events & Showcases Closed Applications are accepted on a 3-year basis. The next program intake will reopen in 2024
Established Community Festivals Closed Applications are accepted on a 3-year basis. The next program intake will reopen in 2024
Significant Anniversaries November 30, 2022 April 1, 2023

 

The COVID-19 Events Recovery Program for Non-Profit Organizations - SUSPENDED

The COVID-19 Events Recovery grant program is currently suspended with the state of emergency lifted and no public health restrictions on public gatherings. Staff will continue to monitor and should there be new restrictions introduced the program will be revisited.  Many thanks for your patience.