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  2. Public Accountability
  3. Public Feedback Process

Public Feedback Process

Your comments, suggestions, compliments and complaints provide valuable information that can help us improve our services, practices and processes.  We are committed to ensuring that your feedback and complaints are dealt with efficiently, and to getting back to you as quickly as possible. 

Definition of a complaint

The Canada Council for the Arts considers a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction concerning its services, grant programs and processes, whether in terms of equity, transparency, respect, accessibility, diligence or confidentiality. 

A complaint must be submitted in writing, either by email or mail. Complaints received by email and mail will be given equal treatment. Other formats of communication, including ASL and LSQ, will be accepted to accommodate persons who are Deaf or who have disabilities.

The Complaints Office will not look into complaints about events dating back more than 3 years. Complaints that have already been evaluated by the Complaints Office, obtained a final response and are considered complete will not be reopened. Questions that are or have been the subject of legal action will not be examined by the Complaints Office. We will not provide any follow-up on complaints submitted anonymously.

Other communications

If you have any comments, suggestions or compliments regarding our services, grant programs or processes, we’d love to hear from you, whether in writing, by telephone or via social media.

For artists and arts organizations who would like to discuss any disagreement or dissatisfaction, or have any questions or require explanations concerning a policy or decision, we recommend that you communicate directly with the Section your grant application was submitted to before contacting the Complaints Office.

Requests for access to information must be submitted to the Coordinator of Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP). You will find all the necessary information on our web site.

Steps to the Feedback Process

1. Receipt of a complaint or other communication

You can contact the Complaints Office 

By mail:

Public Complaints Office
Canada Council for the Arts
P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5V8

By email: feedback@canadacouncil.ca

By telephone at 613-566-4414 ext. 5089  (except for complaints, which must be submitted in writing)

Via social media: Twitter or Facebook (except for complaints, which must be submitted in writing)

You can also use our feedback form.

Other formats of communication, including ASL and LSQ, will be accepted to accommodate persons who are Deaf or who have disabilities.

The communication must include:

  • Your name and postal address or email address
  • A description of the subject of your communication (including any relevant details such as the name of the program, your file number, etc.). In the case of a complaint, clearly outline the facts, dates and reasons for your dissatisfaction.

The Public Complaints Office will confirm receipt of your correspondence within three working days.

Feedback expressed publicly via social media will be dealt with in the same medium, in public or in private, and could be referred to the Complaints Office if necessary.  Please see the Canada Council’s netiquette policy

2. Assessment and follow-up

The Complaints Office will assess the subject of the communication and examine complaints regarding the Council’s services, grant programs and processes.

A file will be opened for complaints that are accepted. The Complaints Office will communicate with the concerned parties to clarify the circumstances surrounding the complaint and obtain all relevant information and documentation. Exchanges on the subject of the complaint and any other relevant material will be added to the file.

If your complaint is rejected, you will be informed of the reasons why and the case will be considered closed.

If the feedback is a comment, suggestion or compliment, the Complaints Office will assess the measures to be taken on a case by case basis, and may guide you towards other resources at the Canada Council.

3. Settling a complaint

The Complaints Office will communicate with the complainant promptly, using the same format as was used by the complainant, i.e. by mail or email. The Council’s aim is to settle complaints within thirty working days. 

The Canada Council’s response will cover all the points raised in the complaint. If you are not satisfied with the response or if you have further information on the subject of your complaint, you may contact us again. When the Complaints Office judges that all relevant points have been covered and that there is nothing further to add, the response will be considered final. The file will be declared complete and you will be informed. All subsequent communications will be kept in the complaint file, but will not be answered.

If your complaint results in any changes the Council’s processes, you will be duly informed.


The Canada Council does not tolerate any form of verbal abuse, harassment or intimidation of its staff. This includes the following:

  • Raising your voice
  • Using language/a tone that is aggressive, unpleasant and/or vulgar
  • Making direct or indirect threats
  • Communicating too frequently and/or at inappropriate times
  • Refusing to let the matter drop and accept the responses provided

Any unprofessional behaviour or conduct personally targeting a Council employee (or anyone working with the Council in a professional capacity) could compromise your relationship with the Canada Council and your chances of obtaining its support in the future. Any inappropriate communication targeting the Council’s official social media accounts will be dealt with according to our netiquette policy. Feedback expressed via social media will be dealt with in the medium used, in public or in private, and may be referred to the Complaints Office if necessary. Please consult the Canada Council’s netiquette policy.