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  2. Public Accountability
  3. Public Feedback Process

Public Feedback Process

Questions and Comments

We want to hear from you. For questions and comments regarding our services, grant programs or processes, please contact us at feedback@canadacouncil.ca  or 1-800 263-5588 (toll free), extension 5089. You can also contact us by mail at:

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

We are committed to responding to you as quickly as possible. We can arrange to receive other forms of communication, including ASL and LSQ, to accommodate people who are Deaf or who are living with disabilities.

For support in preparing a new grant application please contact the programs directly. Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests should be submitted to the ATIP Coordinator. Find the contact and other information you will need here.


The Canada Council for the Arts has a complaint management process in place to provide high-quality, transparent and accessible service to the Canadian arts community. We will thoroughly review your concern, treat it seriously and learn from it so we can continuously improve our services.

In order to foster constructive communication and maintain a safe and respectful space, inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated and will therefore not receive a response.

What is a complaint?

The Canada Council for the Arts considers a complaint to be an expression of dissatisfaction concerning our services, granting programs, or processes, whether it concerns equity, transparency, respect, accessibility, diligence or confidentiality or another similar matter.

How to submit a complaint?

Please submit all complaints in writing to feedback@canadacouncil.ca or by mail:

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

Please include your name and mailing or email address, and clearly outline the facts, dates and reasons for your dissatisfaction, including any relevant details such as the name of the program you applied under (if applicable).

We can arrange to receive other forms of communication, including ASL and LSQ, to accommodate people who are Deaf or who are living with disabilities.

Our standards in handling complaints

  • We will make every reasonable effort to resolve your complaint in a timely manner.
  • We will treat your complaint impartially and transparently.
  • Your complaint will be dealt with in confidentiality, except in cases where your behaviour becomes abusive, aggressive or threatening (see the Inappropriate Behaviour section).
  • All complaints receive equal treatment.
  • Your complaint will be treated with respect and professionalism.

Steps in responding to complaints

The diagram below shows the steps in dealing with public complaints:

  1. A complaint is received, and a file is opened
  2. A complaint is acknowledged within 3 working days.
    Relevant program/operations sections are consulted
  3. Response is provided within 30 working days
    • a.If the complainant does not provide a follow-up response, the file is closed
    • b. If the complainant expresses dissatisfaction with the response or has new information to add, they can request a review
      • b1. If a review is requested, the complaint will be reviewed, and a response will be provided within 30 working days
      • b2. If the Council has answered all relevant points of the complaint, the file will be closed

How we handle complaints

  1. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it.
  2. We will review, assess and respond to your complaint (subject to item 5, below) within 30 working days, where possible.
  3. We will communicate with you using the same format (mail or email) and language (English or French) you used to communicate with us originally. If requested, we can arrange to communicate through other forms of communication, including ASL and LSQ, to accommodate people who are Deaf or who are living with disabilities.
  4. We may contact you if there are any other details needed to evaluate your complaint.
  5. We may not respond in the following cases:
    • Complaints about events dating back more than three years.
    • Complaints that have already been evaluated by the Council, have obtained a final response, and are considered closed.
    • Matters that are, or have been, the subject of legal action.
    • Complaints submitted anonymously.
    • Complaints that are not about the Council but about the actions of a different group, organization or individual.
    • Complaints from complainants whose language or behaviour is abusive, unprofessional or intimidating (see the Inappropriate Behaviour section).
    • Complaints and demands that are unsubstantiated/unfounded, unrealistic or disproportionate.
  6. We will consult with the concerned parties at the Council to clarify the circumstances surrounding your complaint and obtain all relevant information and documentation.
  7. Our response will cover all the relevant points raised in your complaint. If the complaint results in any changes in the Council’s processes, you will be informed. Exchanges about the complaint and any other relevant material will be added to your complaint file, as applicable.
  8. In our responses, we will copy all recipients copied in your complaint message.
  9. If you are not satisfied with our response or you have further information to share, you can ask for a revision, to which we will respond within 30 working days. Once we have covered all the relevant points and have nothing further to add, we will consider the response final. We will close your file and you will be informed.
  10. We will keep any subsequent communications in your complaint file but will not respond further.

Inappropriate Behaviour

The Canada Council for the Arts does not tolerate any form of verbal abuse, harassment or intimidation of its staff or anyone working with the Council in a professional capacity. This includes the following:

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

Abusive, aggressive, threatening or vexatious complaints are a minority, but the Council’s employees sometimes find themselves in a position where they need to end communication with the complainant.

Inappropriate behaviour could compromise the relationship of the complainant with the Canada Council for the Arts and the chances of obtaining its support in the future. Any inappropriate communication targeting the Council’s official social media accounts will be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s Netiquette Policy. Feedback expressed via social media will be dealt with on social media, in public or in private, and may be referred to the employees responsible for responding to public complaints. The pervasive, persistent and/or repeated, expression of derogatory and/or of offensive commentary or feedback will lead to the involvement of law enforcement and may trigger legal action.