The Department of Canadian Heritage has developed an arts policy framework that is being implemented through the following programmes:
- Arts Presentation Canada: seeks to give Canadians more access to diverse, high quality artistic expression through the support of presenters, performing arts series, and other artistic experiences (replaces the festivals and special arts events component of the former Cultural Initiatives Programme). It funds more than 500 organisations in over 200 communities each year;
- Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Programme: supports professional not-for-profit arts or heritage organisations, national professional not-for-profit arts or heritage service organisations, provincial professional not-for-profit heritage service organisations, municipal or regional governments and agencies of provincial / territorial governments (for Heritage only), and Aboriginal organisations / governing bodies in the improvement of their management practices and the development of greater financial capacity of arts and heritage organisations, including matching donations to endowment funds. Funding is also made available for projects focused on improved governance structure and development of new or diverse audiences;
- Cultural Spaces Canada: seeks to improve access to arts and heritage experiences for Canadians and to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity by supporting the construction and renovation of arts and heritage facilities in Canada as well as the acquisition of specialised equipment. It complements the government-wide Infrastructure Canada Programme;
- Cultural Capitals of Canada: provides funds for activities that celebrate arts and culture at the local level and that integrate arts and culture into community planning. Five Cultural Capitals were announced in January 2008 for 2009 in accordance with three funding categories: municipalities with populations greater than 125 000, municipalities with populations between 50 000 and 125 000, and municipalities below 50 000 in population;
- Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage: announced in the 2007 Federal Budget, the Programme provides grants and contributions to local arts and heritage festivals and events for the purpose of engaging Canadians in their communities through arts and heritage festivals and events and community historical anniversaries;
- National Arts Training Contribution Programme: supports independent, not-for-profit, incorporated Canadian institutions that provide training in preparation for professional careers in the arts; and
- Official-Language Support Programmes: through funding and multi-partner agreements, support arts and culture networks within the English-speaking and French-speaking minority communities.
In 2001, the government of Canada announced the “Tomorrow Starts Today (TST)” initiative, which provided support for Canadian artists, arts organisations and the cultural industries. Support was provided from 2001 to 2006 through the following programmes: the arts and heritage (Arts Presentation Canada, Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Programme, Cultural Capitals of Canada, Cultural Spaces of Canada, National Arts Training Contributions Programme), book publishing (Aid to Publishers, Supply Chain Initiatives Publishers, Collective Initiatives), the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Culture Online (Applied Research in Interactive Media Programme, Canada New Media Fund, Culture.ca, Francommunautés virtuelles, Partnerships Fund, Virtual Museum of Canada Investment Programme, Canadian Memory Fund) and Trade Routes. The TST has since been renewed until 2010, although support to the different programmes has changed.