Sport Canada

Sport Canada is a branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage that develops federal sport policy in Canada, provides funding programs in support of sport, and administers special projects related to sport. Its mission "to enhance opportunities for all Canadians to participate and excel in sport."[2][3]

Sport Canada
Agency overview
Formed1971 (1971)
TypeCanadian sports system
JurisdictionGovernment of Canada
HeadquartersGatineau, QC
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Vicki Walker, Director General[1]
Parent departmentCanadian Heritage
Key documents
  • National Sports of Canada Act (1994)
  • Physical Activity and Sport Act (2003)
WebsiteOfficial website

The Government of Canada, through Sport Canada, provides financial support through 3 programs: Athlete Assistance Program, which gives direct financial support to selected national team athletes (CA$33 million/year); the Sport Support Program, which funds Canadian sports organizations (about $178.8 million/year); and the Hosting Program, which helps sport organizations to host the Canada Games and international sport events (about $21.6 million/year).[2] Sport Canada special projects include research projects; projects aimed at increasing participation in sport;[4] the Long-Term Athlete Development Model; and Podium Canada, consisting of the Own the Podium and Road to Excellence programs, aimed at improving Canada's performance at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.[5]


In 1961, the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act came into force, whereby the Government of Canada made an official commitment to “encourage, promote and develop fitness and amateur sport in Canada.” Under this act, the now-defunct Department of National Health and Welfare, through its new Fitness and Amateur Sport Program, was responsible for making grants to any organization that carried out activities in the field of fitness or amateur sport. A few years later, the Canadian government created two new directorates: Recreation Canada, which was tasked with improving the lifestyle of Canadians, and Sport Canada, which was responsible for developing competitive sport. In the early 1990s, the role of the Fitness and Amateur Sport Program was split between the Department of Canadian Heritage, which would be responsible for Sport Canada from then onward, and the Department of Health.[3]

Sport Canada has since remained under the auspices of Canadian Heritage, while Health Canada continues its mandate of "encourag[ing] Canadians to take an active role in their health, such as increasing their level of physical activity and eating well."[3]

For much of its existence, responsibility for Sport Canada was given to a junior Cabinet Minister reporting to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. In 2015, Sport Canada became the responsibility of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, a full Cabinet position that would eventually cease to be filled as of 2019.[6]


The Government of Canada is involved in sport primarily through programs and policies administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Pursuant to section 4(2)(f) of the Department of Canadian Heritage Act, the department is tasked with "the encouragement, promotion and development of sport."[3]

There are three major sport funding programs that are run by Sport Canada which "provide financial assistance to our high-performance athletes, advance the objectives of the Canadian Sport Policy, and help Canadian organizations host sport events that create opportunities for Canadians to compete at the national and international level."[7]

  • Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) — The AAP has a goal of providing funds to athletes throughout their training and preparations before and during National and International Games. Funding provided by the APP can be granted to Canadian athletes who meet the proper eligibility requirements. It is recommended for athletes who request the assistance of the AAP to live and train within the country, however, as long as the request is justified by the National Sport Organization, an exception may be granted for certain Canadian athletes to receive funding from the AAP.
  • Sport Support Program (SSP) — distributes funding to national sport organizations (NSOs), national multisport service organizations (MSOs), Canadian sport centres, and other non-governmental organizations that provide direct services and programs for athletes, coaches, and other sport participants.[3] Funding is provided to eligible organizations for programming that is aligned with the goals of the Canadian Sport Policy.[8]
  • Hosting Program — supports the hosting and organization of national and international sporting events in Canada,[3] enhancing "the international profile" of Canadian sport organizations as well as delivering "economic, social and cultural benefits to Canadian communities."[9] This program is distributed through four sectors: International Major Multisport Games (Summer and Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games; Commonwealth Games, and Pan and Parapan American Games, etc.); International Single Sport Events; International Multisport Games for Aboriginal Peoples and Persons with a Disability; and Canada Games, which are the largest Canadian games.[9]

Sport organizationsEdit

The Government of Canada, through Sport Canada, invests funds and hard work into national level athletes and sporting events through the Sport Support Program (SSP). In order to provide "a role in supporting amateur sport or in promoting an active and healthy lifestyle for Canadians," Sport Canada provides help to three major types of sport organizations: National Sport Organizations (NSOs), National Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs), and Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes.[10]

National Sport OrganizationsEdit

National Sport Organizations (NSOs), or National Sport Federations (NSFs), are governing bodies that represent a specific national sport in Canada. Each NSO has a duty to oversee all that impacts its national sport, it selects and manages the yearly team roster and provides "professional development for coaches and officials in their sport."[11] There are currently 58 NSOs in Canada.

NSOs funded by Sport Canada[11]
Organization Sport
Alpine Canada Alpine skiing
Archery Canada Archery
Athletics Canada Athletics (track & field)
Badminton Canada Badminton
Baseball Canada Baseball
Biathlon Canada Biathlon
Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton Bobsleigh and skeleton
Boccia Canada Boccia
Boxing Canada Boxing
Bowling Federation of Canada Bowling (5- & 10-pin)
Bowls Canada Boulingrin Lawn bowls
Canada Basketball Basketball
Canada Snowboard Snowboarding
Canada Artistic Swimming Artistic swimming
Canadian Blind Sports Goalball
Canadian Broomball Federation Broomball
Canadian Fencing Federation Fencing
Canadian Freestyle Ski Association Freestyle skiing
Canadian Soccer Association Soccer
Canadian Weightlifting Federation Weightlifting
CanoeKayak Canada Canoeing and kayaking
Cricket Canada Cricket
Cross-Country Canada Cross-country skiing
Curling Canada Curling
Cycling Canada Cycling
Diving Plongeon Canada Diving
Equine Canada Equestrian
Field Hockey Canada Field hockey
Football Canada Football
Golf Canada Golf
Gymnastics Canada Gymnastics
Hockey Canada Ice hockey
Judo Canada Judo
Karate Canada Karate
Lacrosse Canada Lacrosse
Luge Canada Luge
Racquetball Canada Racquetball
Ringette Canada Ringette
Rowing Canada Rowing
Rugby Canada Rugby union
Sail Canada Sailing
Shooting Federation of Canada Shooting
Skate Canada Figure skating
Softball Canada Softball
Speed Skating Canada Speed skating
Squash Canada Squash
Swimming Canada Swimming
Table Tennis Canada Table tennis
Taekwondo Association of Canada Taekwondo
Tennis Canada Tennis
Triathlon Canada Triathlon
Volleyball Canada Volleyball
Water Polo Canada Water polo
Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada Water skiing and wakeboarding
Wheelchair Basketball Canada Wheelchair basketball
Wheelchair Rugby Canada Wheelchair rugby
Wrestling Canada Lutte Wrestling

National Multisport Service OrganizationsEdit

National Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs) are organizations that focus on coordination, executing and conveying amenities to the sport community in Canada. These MSOs provide learning opportunities for Canadian coaches, and "support for Aboriginal peoples in sport and national coordination for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG),"[12] as well as focusing on promotion to increase Canadian participation in sport, among other things. There are currently 24 MSOs that are granted funding from Sport Canada to date.

MSOs funded by Sport Canada[12]
Organization Area of concern
AthletesCAN all Canadian national team athletes (including Aboriginal, Olympic, Paralympic, Pan and Parapan American, and Commonwealth Games)
Aboriginal Sport Circle Indigenous athletes
Canada Games Council Canada Games
Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity women in sport
Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport ethics in sport, including anti-doping
Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association college athletics
Canadian Deaf Sports Association deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes
Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute advocacy for physical activity and sport
Canadian Olympic Committee Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement
Canadian Paralympic Committee Canadian Paralympic athletes (for the Paralympic and Parapan American Games)
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities financially-disadvantaged children in organized sport and recreation
Coaching Association of Canada coaches
Commonwealth Games Canada Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Sport Movement in Canada
Grand défi Pierre Lavoie advocacy for healthy life habits in young people
KidSport kids (under 18) in sport
Motivate Canada advocacy for healthy life habits in young people
Own the Podium technical support for national sport organizations
ParticipACTION advocacy for physical activity and sport
Physical and Health Education Canada advocacy for physical education and healthy life habits in young people
Special Olympics Canada Canadian athletes with intellectual disabilities
Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada dispute resolution
Sport for Life physical literacy and long-term athlete development
Sport Information Resource Centre sport education
U Sports Canadian university sport

Canadian Sport Institutes and CentresEdit

Canadian Sport Institutes and Centres were developed in partnership between Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), and the provincial governments. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute (COPSI) Network is a group of designated multisport training centres established in Canada recognized by Sport Canada and Own the Podium, and supported by national and provincial partners in partnership with 7 different provinces or regions across Canada.[13]

There are 4 Canadian Sport Institutes (located in Calgary, Quebec, Ontario, and the Pacific Region), and 3 Canadian Sport Centres (located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Atlantic Canada).[13] These organizations not only provide training facilities for Canadian athletes but also promote innovation, sport science, sport medicine and coaching within Canada.

The COPSI Network "supports the development of high performance sport in Canada through a network of training environments as well as through collaboration with National Sport Organization, national partners, provincial and local governments as well as the private sector to provide more opportunities for high performance athletes and coaches."[13]

Organizations funded by Sport Canada[13]
Organization Province/region Location (Building/complex)
Canadian Sport Institute Calgary[14] Alberta Calgary
Canadian Sport Institute Ontario[15] Ontario Scarborough (Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre)
Milton (Mattamy National Cycling Centre)
London (National Training Centre of Rowing Canada)
Toronto (Athletics Canada's East Hub at York University)
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific[16] Pacific Canada Vancouver
Victoria (Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence)
Whistler (Whistler Athletes’ Centre)
Institut national du sport du Québec[17] Quebec Montreal (Olympic Park)
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic[18] Atlantic Canada Halifax, NS (Canada Games Centre)
Fredericton, NB (U of New Brunswick Faculty of Kinesiology)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Wolfville, NS (Acadia Athletics Complex)
Antigonish, NS (St Francis Xavier University)
Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba[19] Manitoba Winnipeg (Frank Kennedy Centre, U of Manitoba)
Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan[20] Saskatchewan Regina

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Government of Canada. "Role of Sport Canada". Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Sport Canada and the Public Policy Framework for Participation and Excellence in Sport". Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  4. ^ 'Taking Sport Seriously' 3rd edition Thompson Educational Publishing
  5. ^ Government of Canada. "Sport Canada - Special Initiatives Overview". Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  6. ^ "Kent Hehr resigns from Liberal cabinet over sexual harassment allegations". Global News. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  7. ^ Heritage, Canadian. "Role of Sport Canada -".
  8. ^ Heritage, Canadian. "Sport Support Program -".
  9. ^ a b Heritage, Canadian. "Hosting Program -".
  10. ^ Heritage, Canadian. "Sport organizations -".
  11. ^ a b Heritage, Canadian. "National Sport Organizations -".
  12. ^ a b Heritage, Canadian. "National Multisport Service Organizations -".
  13. ^ a b c d Heritage, Canadian. "Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Centres and Institutes -".
  14. ^ "contact us". Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  15. ^ "Our Facilities | CSIO | Developing International Sporting Excellence in Ontario". Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  16. ^ "Contact". Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  17. ^ "Complexe INS Québec". Institut national du sport du Québec (in French). Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  18. ^ csca-editor (2018-01-09). "Facilities". Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  19. ^ "Contact Us". Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  20. ^ "Contact". Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
  21. ^ a b Ferguson, Bob (2005). Who's Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 4. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. ISBN 1-55041-855-6.

Further readingEdit