Q1 – Under section 5.5 of the guidelines it states that costs related to the development of native mobile applications are ineligible. Can a mobile application be eligible if the experience provided onsite is replicated and provided to the online user as well?

A1 – Products submitted to the VMC for investment must provide a complete online experience, independent of a specific context or physical space. The VMC may invest in a product that provides such an experience and that replicates it for the onsite visitor. Focus should be on the online experience. Web applications are eligible for VMC support.

Q2 – Do you have a template we can use for the production plan?

A2 – The Virtual Museum of Canada has not offered a template for the production plan in our proposal material for a few years now. Some applicants found it too restrictive. However you can find all the necessary information on how to create a production plan in our Program Guidelines: https://vmc.historymuseum.ca/program-guidelines/ – please see section 5.2

Some extra tips:

  • It’s important to provide dates and durations for each task (even if at this stage the dates are approximate).
  • We recommend that you provide lots of detail for each task.
  • Please ensure that the information given in the project description, the project plan, the budget and the partner support letters are consistent.

Q3 – For VMC grant applications, is it necessary to itemize digital partners’ submissions or can it be a preliminary draft?

A3 – You do not have to have entered into an agreement with a digital partner at the time you submit your proposal. We do, however, recommend that you work with a web developer to determine the design/development costs and to identify the available technologies that are best able to create the visitor experience you envision.

Q4 – Does the VMC finance only website design or does it accept mobile applications?

A4 – The product described in the proposal must offer a complete online experience independent of a particular context or a physical location. The VMC does not finance the creation of institutional websites, nor development costs for native mobile applications.

Q5 – Can this be a hybrid version including a website with an app?

A5 – A hybrid version including a website and a web app is acceptable. If an institution wishes to create a native mobile application in addition to a website, they may still submit a proposal to the VMC, but the institution must absorb all costs associated with the native application and indicate this clearly in the budget.

Q6 – Does the VMC require that awarded projects be ready to go online after a certain period of time?

A6 – There is no predetermined delivery date by the VMC for the production of a virtual exhibit that received VMC funding. While taking into account the scale and complexity of the product, it is good to allow between 15 and 24 months to guide a project from the research and design stage to its launch online.

Q7 – I am aware that the VMC used to encourage mock-ups as part of the Virtual Exhibit proposal. I don’t see any mention of it in the guidelines for this call.

A7 – As the design happens later in the process of making an online product, it is premature to submit mock-ups and other demonstrations of the product at the proposal stage. Visuals submitted with the proposal will not be evaluated.

The description should be compelling and well-written. It should clearly demonstrate what the online product is about, and what makes it important and innovative – and therefore a strong candidate for VMC investment.

Q8 – Do I have to ask for the full $250,000 investment? My project may be more modestly scoped.

A8 – We also encourage mid-range projects from $50,000 – $150,000. Just make sure there is good alignment between the story you want to tell, the audience(s) you want to engage with it and the technology(ies) you want to use to create the experience. If those line up, the scope of your project should become clear.

Q9 – In Section E of the proposal form, what do you mean by “Certify Proposal”?

A9 – “Certify Proposal” is equivalent to an electronic signature, when you check the box you’re certifying that the proposal is complete and all the information is accurate.

Q10 – We are in discussions with two potential partners. Could the contribution of one of these partners be the value of the intellectual property offered to the public at no charge as part of the online project? The other partner will be paid for shooting footage and post-production but will also offer us a contribution in kind.

A10 – The in-kind value of an intellectual property is an admissible contribution, for example when a partner gives you access to its collection at no charge for use and distribution in your virtual product throughout the life of the virtual product you are proposing. You must record their contribution in kind in the budget column “Partner contribution in kind” and add explanatory notes, including the basis for calculation of the value. The production schedule must reflect this contribution. Make sure to obtain from your partners a letter confirming their exact contribution as indicated in point 4.5 of the Guidelines as well as in section C2 of the proposal form.

In the case of your second example of a partnership, it is actually a supplier who will be paid for services even if it also makes a contribution in kind. It will not be considered to be a partner, as explained in point 4.5 of the Guidelines. Therefore, it must be recorded in two places in the budget: the costs related to its contract in the VMC column, in the column of your institution, or in both columns; and its contribution in kind in the column “Other contribution in kind.” It must not provide a partner letter.