Feds Rejected 100s of Mystery Canada 150 Projects

Okay, I’m exaggerating — but only slightly.

The projects the federal government turned down for Canada 150 funding were not a mystery to the government, they’re just a mystery to me — and by extension, you — because their details have been redacted from the response to an access to information and privacy (ATIP) request for a:

List of all proposals received by Canadian Heritage for Canada 150 funding, including the proposals that were either accepted or declined and how much funding was awarded.

Once information has been released as a result of an ATIP, anyone may access it, so I requested copies of the 180 pages released as a result of this one, thinking it would be fascinating to see which projects, intended to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, were funded, which weren’t, how many successful projects came from Cape Breton, how many unsuccessful, etc. And it would have been fascinating — if all the information requested had been released. But alas, it wasn’t.

What I received was 35.5 pages of approved projects — including the client, the project and the amount approved — followed by 137 pages of rejected projects, with all information other than the word “Rejected” redacted; followed by 5 pages of “Ineligible” projects, also with all other information redacted; followed by 2.5 pages of “Withdrawn” projects, with all other information redacted. (Each page contains, conservatively, 16 projects.)

I don’t know if the original requester received a more detailed explanation for the redactions than that included in my letter:

You will find enclosed the relevant records. They are disclosed to you as they were released in the original request. They also include any exemptions and exclusions that were applied under the Access to Information Act.

Those exclusions (you can see them in the margins next to the redacted items in the released documents) are:

Subject to this section, the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

(b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information supplied to a government institution by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party;


21(1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

(a) advice or recommendations developed by or for a government institution or a minister of the Crown,

The best I could do was to search the approved projects for references to Cape Breton and transform those I found into a lovely table. (If you go through the documents and find any projects I’ve missed, please let me know and I will update the lovely table).


Approved Cape Breton Canada 150 Projects

Client NameProject NameTotal Approved
Bay St. Lawrence Community CentreCanada 150 Celebration$8,000.00
Cape Breton Fiddlers AssociationCape Breton Fiddlers Celebrate Canada 150$10,000.00
Cape Breton Regional Library BoadIsle of Story: a Canada 150 Festival of Cape Breton Storytelling$25,000.00
Cape Breton Regional MunicipalityPathway to 150$18,500.00
Cape Breton University - Centre for Sound Communities Songs and Stories of Immigration and Encounter$50,000.00
Celtic Colours Festival SocietyCeltic Colours Pan-Canadian Celebration$50,000.00
Isle Madame Historical SocietyIsle Madame from Confederation to Today$6,500.00
Main-a-dieu Community Development AssociationSharing the Past-Securing the Future Community Celebration$15,000.00
Town of Port HawkesburyPort Hawkesbury Celebrates Canada 150$15,000.0


Info to go

Here is the full list, in all its redacted glory. (You can use the full-screen button on the bottom to make it easier to read and the download button to add it to your collection of blanked-out government documents.)

A-2017-00104 Requester copy


Olds, Alberta Mayor Judy Dahl and former CBRM CAO now Olds CAO Michael Merritt.

Olds, Alberta Mayor Judy Dahl and former CBRM CAO now Olds CAO Michael Merritt.

One final note: the Town of Olds, Alberta received $35,000 for a project called “Eye of the Lens Canada — A Digital Story.” I could probably find more details if I tried, but I prefer simply to believe the project tells the tale of one brave Chief Administrative Officer’s journey from Alberta to Nova Scotia and back again.





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