Departmental Results Report 2021–2022

Library and Archives Canada, 2022
Catalogue No.: SB1-12E-PDF
ISSN 2560-9092

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From the Minister

Pablo Rodriguez

Each year, the organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio make arts and culture shine, preserve our heritage and strive to listen to Canadians in order to best respond to their needs. In 2021–22, these organizations, including Library and Archives Canada (LAC), fulfilled their mandate despite certain challenges still imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They also contributed to the Government of Canada’s efforts in promoting the cherished values of equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian society.

LAC supports the government’s commitment to building a renewed relationship based on respect, recognition of rights, and cooperation and partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. Acknowledging the truth and the wrongs of the past is at the heart of this ongoing process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, a process to which LAC contributes through its Indigenous initiatives, programs and services aimed at preserving and providing access to documentary heritage.

For example, in 2021–22, LAC continued to process access to information and privacy requests related to the Federal Indian Day Schools class action suit. It supported numerous Indigenous organizations in digitizing and preserving their records related to Indigenous languages and cultures.

The organization has begun construction of its shared facility with the Ottawa Public Library, named Ādisōke (an Anishinābemowin word meaning “storytelling”). This facility and the services and programs it will offer to the people of Canada will be inhabited by a spirit of reconciliation and a commitment to increasing awareness of Indigenous cultures, languages and knowledge. Many works by Indigenous artists will be integrated into the building, which will include a multi-purpose room dedicated to Indigenous Peoples.

Ādisōke is also an excellent example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to building sustainable infrastructure, much like the storage and preservation facility in Gatineau, which is nearly complete. These inspiring projects, led by LAC, will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I invite you to have a look at the 2021–22 Departmental Results Report for Library and Archives Canada to get a better idea of its accomplishments in service to Canadians.

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez

From the Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Leslie Weir

The future looks bright for Library and Archives Canada (LAC), largely thanks to successful internal and external collaborations. This report provides a snapshot of LAC’s many accomplishments in the 2021–22 fiscal year. This success would not have been possible without the contributions of a wide range of people who are committed to promoting our organization and in particular to making the collection known and accessible to a larger, more diverse audience. It is a challenge in keeping with the needs of our time.

The development of our strategic plan for the next few years and beyond is now complete. Vision 2030, which will be released in 2022–23, reflects and distills the ideas and suggestions that we heard during extensive consultations with thousands of Canadians.

Also worth noting is the progress of our two major infrastructure projects: the construction of the new Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau, Quebec, combined with vault upgrades at the existing Preservation Centre, and the development of Ādisōke, LAC’s new joint facility with Ottawa Public Library.

Ādisōke is an incredible project whose name speaks to the core mission of the partner institutions: to provide access to stories in a variety of formats, and to allow users to make discoveries and interact with the content. When completed, Ādisōke will be a modern, welcoming facility that looks back to the past and forward to the future. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Ādisōke speaks volumes about our commitment to advancing the government’s reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

We continue to work hard to better reflect the diversity of our communities. With greater diversity in our field, we will benefit from having different voices and perspectives around the table as we discuss what to acquire and what to exhibit. It will also help us to ensure that the collections and our services resonate with all Canadians and represent an inclusive approach to Canadian history.

While much work has been done over the years to encourage diversity and inclusion in memory institutions, we still have a great deal to do. At LAC, we work tirelessly to ensure that the contributions of all Canadians—including women, people from racialized communities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities—are fully represented and recognized in the collections we assemble, preserve and make available.

I encourage you to learn about the great things that LAC has accomplished over the past year. Happy reading!

Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Results at a glance

Funds used

Actual expenditures


Actual full-time Equivalents (FTE)

Results highlights

Two years ago, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) embarked on a major transition. The objective was to improve its services to Canadians and to more effectively fulfill its mandate to acquire, preserve, process and make accessible and better known Canada’s documentary heritage, including a significant shift in technology.

To guide its efforts, LAC has developed, in consultation with its staff, partners and clients, a new vision that will be released in 2022–23. This vision will inform LAC’s decision making, set the goals that it hopes to achieve by 2030, prioritize the activities to be carried out, and influence the organizational culture.

In 2021–22, two key strategic priorities have guided LAC’s activities and results: optimizing its digital capacity, and transforming its services.

Here are some highlights:

  • LAC continued to roll out its new Digital Asset Management System (DAMS), including testing the digital transfer of its own operational records of archival value and a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), which is a set of digital files containing a feature film.
  • Canadian publishers and filmmakers can now submit their digital titles in batches using a brand-new web-based form. As a result of this improvement, LAC received 89,402 digital titles, almost twice as many as the previous year.
  • Plans and architectural drawings for Ādisōke, the new joint facility with Ottawa Public Library (OPL), were completed. The construction contract was awarded, and the work began.
  • LAC launched the new My Account platform, which allows users to search, save and review records found with the Collection Search tool. It also gives users access to Co-Lab and lets them track their registrations for LAC’s public events.
  • Construction of the Preservation Storage Facility is nearing completion, and LAC is preparing to move some of the analog collection into the building.

In addition, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in 2021–22, LAC was able to offer a wealth of public programming on its various virtual platforms and to adapt its services to make it easier for Canadians to access and discover the collections. Notable results include the following:

  • 177,527 people attended exhibitions and events organized by LAC or in collaboration with other institutions.
  • 2.8 million unique visitors accessed the LAC website and online applications (more than 800,000 above the annual target of 2 million set at the beginning of the year).
  • The number of on-site transactions and remote transactions from LAC’s various service points was up by 38 percent over the previous year.

In addition, LAC continued to support the government’s efforts toward reconciliation with Indigenous communities and peoples. In June 2021 and the months that followed, Canadians were deeply shocked by the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

As a memory institution, LAC places great importance on making Indigenous documentary heritage more accessible so communities can reclaim their histories and stories. In 2021–22, LAC continued its initiatives to preserve Indigenous heritage and languages, and to process access-to-information and privacy requests associated with the Federal Indian Day School Class Action.

For more information on LAC’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the “Results: what we achieved” section of this report.

Results: what we achieved

Core responsabilities

1. Acquiring and preserving documentary heritage


  • Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) acquires documentary heritage of historical value and preserves it for current and future generations, as mandated in the Library and Archives of Canada Act.
  • Its collection is made up of documentary heritage preserved in a variety of media and formats.
  • LAC advises the Government of Canada and its institutions on the management of information and ensures that records of historical value are transferred to its collection.
  • Through legal deposit, all materials submitted by Canadian publishers become part of its collection, as well as sampling of Internet content.
  • Other records of national significance are acquired to document Canadian society.
  • LAC uses state-of-the-art techniques and infrastructure to restore the collection and provide optimal conditions for long-term preservation. LAC also builds its capacity and expertise to ensure the availability of digital records.


In keeping with the two strategic priorities for 2021–22, LAC is working to optimize its digital capacity and processes by leveraging technology and expertise to efficiently acquire, process and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.

Digital optimization

In 2021–22, LAC continued to modernize its infrastructure and processes for acquiring records from federal government departments and agencies and from private donors, as well as the published heritage of Canadian publishers and theses deposited by Canadian universities. LAC’s solution is the deployment of its new Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). The DAMS is a set of automated or semi-automated digital tools that support the acquisition, assessment, description, integration, preservation and retrieval of the digital collections held by LAC. The DAMS also provides secure access to these collections and monitors data integrity, which helps to manage digital assets and ensure their long-term preservation.

This year, LAC successfully piloted the transfer of its own operational records of archival value to the DAMS. This was done using workflows developed and tested in co-operation with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). LAC began acquiring digital publications from the Government of Canada through the DAMS. The system also supports the transfer of Canadian publications under the legal deposit program from over 5,000 publishers and producers of cultural content.

In addition, LAC provided government departments with advice on protecting archival records and associated metadata. LAC continues to refine metadata standards for digital records. Last year, LAC tested the standards in the final phase of the pilot project for the automated transfer of government records from GCdocs. As part of the pilot, LAC undertook a thorough review of GCdocs metadata to ensure that it met the new standards.

Acquiring and processing a collection that is representative of Canada

Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, Canadian publishers and producers are required to send their materials to LAC through the legal deposit program. By participating in this program, they contribute to building the national collection. In 2021–22, LAC launched a new and improved legal deposit system. It features easy-to-use web forms and a batch submission option that allows multiple publications to be deposited at the same time. As a result of this improvement, LAC received through the DAMS, and provided enhanced descriptions for, 89,402 digital titles, almost twice as many as in the previous year.

In 2021–22, LAC acquired 172,694 publications, including books, serials, sheet music, sound and audiovisual recordings, and university theses. LAC continued to build productive relationships with Indigenous publishers, adding 382 titles to the collection. LAC also acquired the following Indigenous newspapers in digital and analog formats:

This year, LAC created nearly 21,000 book descriptions that other libraries can use. In consultation with the library community, particularly Indigenous librarians, LAC developed a list of changes to Canadian subject headings, to ensure that publications with Indigenous content reflect modern terminology used by First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation.

LAC also supported the acquisition by libraries of materials and resources in alternative formats (large print, braille, electronic and audio versions). In addition, LAC staff created 459 bibliographic records related to materials offered in alternative formats (braille, audio books, described video).

Unique materials related to the published heritage of Canada’s Jewish community

With funds provided by the Library and Archives Canada Foundation, LAC was able to acquire 70 contemporary Canadian Judaica items. These were added to the remarkable Jacob M. Lowy Collection, which consists of rare early Hebraica and Judaica works printed between the 15th and 20th centuries.

Published over a 100-year period starting in 1906, the works were printed in English, Hebrew or Yiddish in Montréal, Toronto, Bracebridge (Ontario), Winnipeg, New York City, Binghamton (New York), Buenos Aires, Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. They deal with cultural and educational matters affecting the Jewish community in Canada and abroad.

Most of the items acquired are very small-run publications that tell the stories of specific individuals and moments in time. By adding these items to the Lowy Collection, LAC, with the help of the LAC Foundation, is ensuring that these stories, individuals and moments will remain forever etched in our collective memory.

This acquisition is the second financial contribution by the LAC Foundation. Established in 2018, it helps to preserve Canada’s national heritage through funds raised from generous donors.

In 2021–22, LAC accepted 132 new acquisitions from private sources. Under its Private Archives Acquisition Orientation policy, LAC gives priority to analog and digital materials in areas under-represented in the collection.

For example, LAC acquired some 5,000 photographic documents from Mia Poulin and Klaus Matthes. The holdings of this couple include photographs of Indigenous communities in northern Quebec and portraits of French-Canadian artists from the 1970s and 1980s. LAC also acquired the work “Truth to Power,” based on a photograph by Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), British and Dutch artist Meryl McMaster, a rising star on the Canadian art scene. Four original drawings by Inuit artist Malaya Akulukjuk (1915–1995) were also added to the collection at LAC.

In keeping with its acquisition policy, LAC acquired other holdings to enrich the collection, including that of director, artistic director and actor John Palmer (1943–2020). Founder of Toronto Free Theatre, Palmer wrote and produced a number of plays that focused on sexual orientation and themes related to LGBTQ+ communities. The John Palmer fonds includes manuscripts for the plays Confessions of a Necrophile (1967), The End (1972), A Day at the Beach (1987) and Singapore (2000), as well as materials associated with his 2004 independent film Sugar, which was nominated for two Genie Awards.

A new addition was made to the fonds of activist Bonnie Robichaud. The documents deal with the lengthy legal process (1980–87) in Robichaud v. Canada, the first sexual harassment case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. In its decision, which had a major impact on labour relations, the Court recognized the employer’s responsibility for acts of harassment committed by employees. The fonds was processed and is now available for consultation.

LAC continued to acquire, process and preserve the personal and political records of former prime minister Stephen Harper. In 2021–22, the project team focused on completing the archival work on analog records and the processing of records created in digital format that make up much of this fonds. To date, it is the largest set of digital records created or maintained by a private donor and acquired by LAC: approximately 50 terabytes (TB). Eighty-five percent (85%) of the analog and digital material is now being processed for preservation.

Canada’s history of technology archives were enhanced with the creation of the George Foote Foss fonds. A native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Foss made early Canadian automotive history by building the first gasoline-powered car in 1896. The collection is now available for viewing. The following fonds were also processed and are now open to researchers: James P. Bruce (environmental science), James Lorne Gray (chair of the Nuclear Energy Commission of Canada), John Ernest Stewart (first mate of the SS Diana; member of an 1897 expedition to Baffin Island and the Arctic Archipelago) and Julius Alexander Issac (first Black person to be appointed as a judge and then later as the chief justice of a federal court).

In addition, LAC acquired four portraits of the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected to the House of Commons (1993), by photographer Althea Thauberger. Personal papers of politician and senator Pierre de Bané were also added to his fonds. De Bané was the first person of Arab descent elected to the House of Commons. His political career spanned more than 40 years (1968–2013).

During the year, LAC also acquired records from federal government agencies. These included the records of the investigation into the bombing of Air India Flight 182. This tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of 329 people, is the deadliest terrorist attack in Canadian history. The acquisition includes briefing notes, research reports, correspondence, audits, investigation documents and audiovisual recordings.

Preserving the collection for present and future generations

In 2021–22, LAC preserved 1,153 TB of digital content, including original digital documents and digitized documents, or approximately 92 million files. The total size of the preserved digital collection is now over 9,000 TB.

During the year, LAC also migrated 734,100 hours of audiovisual recordings, including 55,000 hours of film, 408,500 hours of audio and 270,600 hours of video.

In 2021–22, LAC archived more than 13 TB of web pages that reflect the evolution of Canadian society. This web content includes the following:

Figure 1: Total digital objects collected to document COVID-19. Data compiled for the period from February 1, 2020, to March 1, 2022.
  • 3.2 TB of Canadian news media pages (journalistic sites)
  • 2.9 TB of pages related to COVID-19
  • 2.7 TB related to Canadian politics and the 2021 federal election
  • 2.3 TB related to federal government sites
  • 737 gigabytes (GB) related to Indigenous resources and perspectives
  • 737 GB related to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • 163 GB related to the Mass Casualty Commission
  • 662 GB related to other collections

LAC’s conservation and restoration experts continued to respond to loan requests for exhibitions and to support the long-term preservation program. They prepared and processed items that will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada and the Maison nationale des Patriotes. Notably, they also prepared Treaty 11, which will be on display at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to mark the centennial of the treaty’s ratification. In addition, they began their assessment of a new LAC acquisition (a painting by artist Cleeve Horne) and continued to process albums and glass-plate negatives from Ottawa-based photographer William Topley’s fonds, census records and the Canadian National Railway Company fonds.

Preservation Complex and collection move

Construction of the Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau is making good progress. As of March 31, 2022, construction was approximately 90 percent complete. Commissioning activities and the independent certification process were under way.

Figure 2: The automated shelving and retrieval system in the vaults of the new Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau.

This centrepiece of LAC’s long-term infrastructure strategy will sustainably meet stringent standards for the long-term preservation of analog records. The building will be the largest archival preservation facility in the world with automated shelving and collection retrieval. Low temperatures will be maintained at all times in the vaults, and the retrieval system will operate in the dark. This will reduce energy consumption and protect the collection from light.

In preparation for moving part of its analog collection to its new storage spaces (590,000 containers, which would stretch for 94 kilometres if placed end to end), LAC continued to prepare the collections stored at its Renfrew facility and at the Preservation Centre in Gatineau. As of March 31, 2022, 91 percent of the collection to be relocated had been prepared (100 percent for the Preservation Centre, and 77 percent for Renfrew). Over the past three years, the Preservation Centre team prepared 242,447 containers of textual materials and 143,433 boxes of film for the move. The Renfrew team surpassed its goals and has only 57,853 containers to assess and prepare.

Transfer of the first boxes is expected to begin in August 2022 and run through March 2024. The collection will be available for consultation throughout the move. However, textual records, motion-picture film and microfilm reels being relocated may be temporarily inaccessible, with the exception of records required for litigation support or for access-to-information and privacy (ATIP) requests, which will be available at all times. Wherever possible, the periods of unavailability will be short.

Regarding the optimization of vault space at the Preservation Centre, LAC has begun the planning phase of the requirements for each of the affected vaults. The institution and its private partner agreed on a schedule for the work, to limit the impact on LAC’s regular operations and to mitigate health and safety risks to employees.

Acquisition and preservation: LAC and documentary heritage networks

In 2021–22, LAC strengthened its relationships and its place in existing networks. Through outreach activities for its legal deposit program, LAC worked closely with Canadian publishers, film directors and producers to transfer two copies of their works to LAC.

LAC provided financial support to small public libraries and small libraries at post-secondary institutions (CEGEPs, community colleges and universities) interested in contributing to the Voilà National Union Catalogue or in receiving interlibrary loan or copy cataloguing services. During the year, LAC finalized its new Policy on Maintaining the Canadian National Union Catalogue, established an advisory committee and defined its mandate. The committee, which has seven members from the Canadian documentary heritage community, has already met four times and is working closely with LAC to implement the new policy.

Memorandum of understanding with the German National Library

In October 2021, LAC signed a collaborative agreement with the German National Library (GNL), or Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. The agreement will renew co-operation and strengthen ties between the two institutions.

LAC was the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2021, an international event that brings together publishing industry professionals from around the world. During the fair, the GNL and LAC held four conversations, available on LAC’s YouTube channels:

LAC participated in the second phase of the national Overlap Study on Federal Government Print Publications, a collaborative initiative to quantify overlap and to identify rare titles to be retained for preservation and access. More than 20 university and public libraries are taking part. During this phase, a methodology for participating libraries to record their retention commitments will be developed.

In November 2021, LAC hosted a stakeholder forum that brought together a dozen key institutions from the Canadian documentary heritage community. The purpose of the forum was to initiate discussions on LAC’s strategic and policy directions and to foster information sharing among members.

LAC continued to provide leadership in policy discussions on information management (IM) in the federal government. The publication of three issues of its Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter provided an opportunity to share relevant information on recordkeeping initiatives and issues in the public and private sectors.

United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals

Figure 3: LAC’s Preservation Complex in Gatineau.

The future Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau will be the first net-zero carbon government building in the Americas. This project contributes to the achievement of two UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 9, which involves building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation; and SDG 12, which involves ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns through efficient use of resources and energy. In addition, drought-tolerant native species will be incorporated into landscaping to reduce irrigation requirements and outdoor water consumption.

LAC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy: 2020–2023 contributes to Goal 2 of the 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada: greening government. Specifically, LAC is taking steps to make its buildings more environmentally friendly and less energy intensive, and to reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicle fleet. LAC will also incorporate environmental performance considerations into its procurement processes.


LAC successfully piloted the digital transfer of a Digital Cinema Package (DCP), a set of digital files containing Canadian writer and director Valerie Buhagiar’s feature film Carmen. A DCP is the digital cinema equivalent of a silver projection print.

The pilot project was carried out in co-operation with producer Aiken Heart Films. The digital transfer was made without the use of a physical medium, thus eliminating transportation costs and reducing the risk of data loss. Starting in 2022–23, LAC will begin offering the option of online digital transfers to producers funded by Telefilm Canada.

Key risks

In its 2021–22 Departmental Plan and its Corporate Risk Profile 2021–2024, LAC identified a risk regarding its ability to acquire, manage and preserve records that are digitized or that it acquires and receives in digital format for this core responsibility.

Mitigation measures identified for this risk were implemented. LAC’s DAMS was tested and deployed, improving the capacity and interoperability of its digital infrastructure.

Results achieved

The following table shows, for acquiring and preserving documentary heritage, the results achieved, the performance indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2021–22, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results 2020–21 Actual results 2021–22 Actual results
LAC acquires a collection that is representative of Canada Percentage of federal institutions transferring records annually Not availabletable 1 note 1 March 31, 2022 Not available 5% 9%
Percentage of active publishers transferring publications annually 82% March 31, 2022 70% 82% 61%table 1 note 2
Percentage of acquisition priorities that lead to an acquisition agreement 75% March 31, 2022 88% 76% 76%
Documentary heritage acquired by LAC is processed in a timely manner to make it searchable Percentage of government records processed in keeping with service standards 60% March 31, 2022 62% 39% 40%table 1 note 3
Percentage of published heritage processed in keeping with service standards 80% March 31, 2022 Not available 98% 91%
Percentage of private archives processed in keeping with service standards 90% March 31, 2022 87% 30% 55%table 1 note 4
LAC’s collection is preserved within standards for current and future generations Percentage of analog holdings maintained within LAC preservation standards 75% March 31, 2022 Not available Not available Not availabletable 1 note 5
Total number of terabytes (TB) of digital material preserved in LAC’s collection (including born digital, digitized and migrated content) 8,100 TB March 31, 202 7,220 TB 7,848 TB 9,001 TB
Table 1 Notes
Note 1

A target will be set in 2022–23 based on the baseline data gathered in 2021–22.

Return to table 1 note 1 referrer

Note 2

The 82 percent target was not met. Like many other sectors, the publishing industry was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Limited access to workplaces slowed the transfer of publications to LAC.

Return to table 1 note 2 referrer

Note 3

The 60 percent target was not met, as part of the team involved in processing government records was assigned to other priority initiatives, such as processing access-to-information and privacy (ATIP) requests, including those associated with settlement of the Federal Indian Day School Class Action.

Return to table 1 note 3 referrer

Note 4

The 90 percent target was not met, as part of the team involved in processing private records was assigned to revising the terms of access for records, transferring finding aids, and other priority initiatives such as processing ATIP requests.

Return to table 1 note 4 referrer

Note 5

Data for this result were not available. The methodology for this indicator could not be applied to all six LAC storage facilities because the environmental monitoring program was revised during the year.

Return to table 1 note 5 referrer

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for acquiring and preserving documentary heritage, budgetary spending for 2021–22, as well as actual spending for that year.

Main Estimates
planned spending
total authorities available for use
actual spending
(authorities used)
(actual spending minus planned spending)
67,206,826 67,206,826 76,490,012 66,553,586 (653,240)

The difference between the $76.5 million in total authorities available for use and the $66.6 million in actual spending is mainly due to the following:

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (labour and material shortages) on LAC’s real property portfolio; several projects related to the long-term management strategy for the real property portfolio experienced unforeseen delays in 2021–22
  • Salary savings generated by higher-than-expected staff turnover in all LAC business lines

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in full time equivalents, the human resources that LAC needed to fulfill this core responsibility in 2021–22.

Planned full-time equivalents
Actual full-time equivalents
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
417 360 (57)

The difference is mainly due to higher-than-expected staff turnover in all LAC business lines.

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

2. Providing access to documentary heritage


  • LAC provides access to its collection, while respecting legal, policy and contractual obligations.
  • Using cutting-edge technologies, LAC enables Canadians to access and consult its collection and enrich their knowledge of Canada’s documentary heritage.
  • LAC makes digital content available through its website and social media to improve access to its collection. As well, LAC provides online services and in-person services at its four service points.
  • LAC uses innovative strategies such as crowdsourcing (Co-Lab) and the Digi-Lab to complement the digital content of its collection.
  • LAC also promotes Canadian heritage by creating exhibitions that enable the public to discover its collection in cultural sites throughout Canada.
  • Through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program, LAC supports memory organizations by increasing their capacity to preserve and make their collections accessible.


In keeping with the two strategic priorities for 2021–22, LAC is working to fundamentally transform its services to the public, both at its various service points and remotely. LAC is working to improve its digital presence and make the collection known and accessible to more Canadians.

Joint facility with Ottawa Public Library and service transformation

Since 2016, LAC and Ottawa Public Library (OPL) have been collaborating closely to build a joint facility of more than 20,000 square metres. In April 2021, the design team completed the architectural plans and drawings and the construction specifications for the call for tenders from the City of Ottawa. The submission period ran from May to September 2021, and the construction contract was awarded in November 2021. The contractor promptly began construction, and by March 2022, the excavation work had been completed, and construction of the foundation was well under way. However, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the supply of labour and materials, the project schedule was also modified, with the official opening delayed by one year to the summer of 2026. It should be noted that in July 2021, the federal government allocated an additional $48.3 million in project contingency funding.

Figure 4: Sign installed in March 2022 at the site of the future joint facility.

In August 2021, the name of the future joint facility was revealed: Ādisōke. The name was chosen by the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and the Pikwàkanagàn Algonquin First Nation on behalf of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation. In the Anishinābemowin language, Ādisōke means the art of storytelling. Storytelling is the traditional means by which Indigenous peoples pass on knowledge, culture and history to subsequent generations.

Two calls for artists were issued under the Indigenous Public Art Program in 2021–22. The program will honour Indigenous history and culture using works created by Indigenous artists in Canada. One call is for exterior glazing patterns or designs to create bird-safe glass; the other is for Ādisōke’s Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room on the second floor.

The Ādisōke project also comes with a major overhaul of LAC’s on-site and remote services for the public. LAC needs to adapt its services not only to a new physical space but also for a much larger, more diverse audience than at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. LAC’s service transformation projects progressed in 2021–22, including the digitization project, which will expand virtual access to the most popular analog reference tools. This three-year project, which is already at the halfway mark, will make several government and private finding aids, the city directory collection, and other tools available on the LAC website.

To improve the online search experience for users, LAC added other datasets to the Collection Search tool. In addition, users no longer need to select a specific database or type of material (archives, publications, etc.) for their search. The goal is to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for and to make this tool the gateway to the collection held by LAC. Eventually, Collection Search will encompass more than 100 separate datasets and will be the largest integrated database ever created by LAC.

Serving Canadians: Facilitating and providing access to the collections

In 2021–22, LAC developed and began implementing a plan to expand its services for the public to better meet the needs of users. LAC continued to serve Canadians and to facilitate access to documentary heritage through its reference, genealogy, orientation, copy and consultation services. LAC service points in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver completed 50,517 transactions, up 38 percent from last year.

However, on a few occasions this past year, these in-person service points were closed to the public, primarily because of COVID-19 and public health restrictions. The exceptions were the closures of the 395 Wellington Street location, because protesters in downtown Ottawa were impeding access to the building, and the Halifax point of service located in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, because of maintenance and renovations.

A proven contingency plan ensured continuity of service during these closures. LAC was able to support its clients with urgent access requests, including other government departments with requests pertaining to business continuity plans or ongoing litigation.

To enhance user experience, LAC also created the new My Account platform, which brings together several features. After registering, users are able to search, save and review previously found records using the Collection Search tool. This integrated platform now provides users with access to Co-Lab and allows them to track their registrations for LAC’s public events. In addition, the My Research feature allows them to save lists and categories of materials, take notes and share their findings.

Through its access-to-information and privacy (ATIP) team, digitization and reference services, loans staff and government records archivists, LAC is a key player in access to information in Canada. In 2021–22, LAC received 11,469 ATIP requests and processed 11,276 of them.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number and complexity of access to information requests made to LAC. This has put considerable pressure on the institution to fulfill its responsibilities to uphold Canadians’ right of access.

It is important to note that LAC’s responsibilities for requests under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act go well beyond those of other federal departments and agencies. LAC is the custodian of billions of pages of records that it preserves on their behalf. Its teams are also responsible for providing records to support settlements of class actions against the government. In 2021–22, LAC supported the government’s response to the Canadian Armed Forces–National Defence Sexual Misconduct Class Action (Heyder Beattie) and the Federal Indian Day School Class Action.

LAC is also part of an interdepartmental group that coordinates the negotiation of settlements and government responses to various class actions, including one dealing with concerns about systemic racial discrimination and harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Over the past year, LAC implemented a cloud-based solution for the storage and digital delivery of ATIP requests. It used Canada Post’s service to provide secure digital delivery, eliminating the need to use CD-ROMs. LAC also explored funding options to better respond to the growing number of requests for access to archival and personnel records in its custody. The result of this planning will be implemented in 2022–23.

In 2021–22, LAC digitized 2.4 million documentary heritage images, a crucial step in making them more accessible and in facilitating research for genealogy, litigation, land claims, agreements, inquiries and commissions.

Of these images, 14,729 were digitized for LAC’s various Indigenous initiatives, and 274,598 as part of the Ādisōke project, the joint facility with OPL. LAC restored and resized 2,188 high-resolution digital watercolour images to make them available on both the LAC website and the portal of the international project entitled The Watercolour World. This project brings together digital images of pre-1900 documentary watercolours in a single portal.

LAC also processed 2,376,718 images (44,090 files) from Service Files of the Second World War – War Dead, 1939–1947. The records were digitized by one of LAC’s external partners, but substantial file manipulation and conversion were required to make the records available online (in 2022–23).

Exhibitions and public programming

In 2021–22, 170,847 people visited exhibitions presented by LAC and its partners in Canada and abroad. Visitors to the National Gallery of Canada saw works from the collection at LAC in the Indigenous and Canadian Galleries, including a work by artist Frances Anne Hopkins entitled “Voyageurs at Dawn”. Hiding in Plain Sight, a travelling exhibition on the history of the Métis Nation, organized by LAC in collaboration with the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Métis National Council, made stops at the Métis Crossing Interpretive Centre in Smoky Lake, Alberta, and at the Lloydminster Museum + Archives in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.

In addition, staff in the National Capital Region and at regional service points, in conjunction with gallery, library, archive and museum partners, facilitated and presented many activities, including information sessions and introductory research workshops on its virtual platforms.

LAC presented four new educational workshops, including the third instalment of its In the Trenches series. This webinar focused on First World War photographs and showed participants how to find the photos online through Collection Search. LAC also presented a webinar on the military service files and photographs of Canadian servicewomen in the Second World War.

Figure 5: Servicewomen in the Second World War webinar.

LAC collaborated with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to offer a webinar on the records of No. 2 Construction Battalion in the First World War, the only all-Black battalion in Canadian military history. A new webinar entitled The Ties that Bind: Railroads and Real Estate in Western Canada was presented in conjunction with the Winnipeg Public Library. It focuses on the railroad land sale files and ledgers held at LAC’s Winnipeg service point and their value for researching genealogy or immigration and agricultural history.

The very popular Connection to Kith and Kin live weekly sessions presented in collaboration with Vancouver Public Library continued. The theme is Indigenous genealogy, and the sessions incorporate elements of Indigenous cultural practices. LAC also gave several presentations at institutions such as Saint Mary’s University and the British Columbia Genealogical Society.

Spotlight on the archives of Hungarian-Canadian photographer Gabor Szilasi

A Signatures Interview on LAC’s YouTube channels introduced Canadians to the fascinating life story and archival holdings (including more than 80,000 negatives) of photographer Gabor Szilasi, a collection recently acquired by LAC.

A native of Budapest, Szilasi is an internationally renowned documentary photographer. His collection spans over 60 years (1954–2016). It includes images of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the Soviet invasion, as well as photographs taken in Montréal and rural Quebec. Szilasi came to Canada as a refugee in 1957. He worked as a darkroom technician and photographer at the Service de ciné-photographie du Québec (later the Office du film du Québec [OFQ]) in Montréal and taught photography at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal and later at Concordia University.

While working at the OFQ and afterward, the artist travelled extensively throughout Quebec. He “found himself drawn to the vernacular of the province, the people and places of rural Quebec, a culture and a way of life unfamiliar to his urbane upbringing in Budapest,” writes archivist Jill Delaney in her blog post on the Szilasi fonds. In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, he also made numerous portraits of Montréal’s buildings, street intersections and even commercial neon signs, thus capturing the city’s social life and landscape.

Figure 6: Intersection of St. Laurent Boulevard and Van Horne Avenue, Montréal, 1981. Photograph by Gabor Szilasi.

Szilasi’s photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions (both solo and group) in North America and around the world. A podcast on this unique collection (Treasures Revealed: Gabor Szilasi) is also available on the LAC website.

Lastly, a new outdoor reading activity called StoryWalk® was offered in over 550 libraries across the country in the summer of 2021 through the TD Summer Reading Club. This national bilingual program, led by Toronto Public Library in partnership with LAC, aims to strengthen children’s reading skills and promote Canadian authors.

Digital presence and public participation

More than ever, LAC was there virtually to help Canadians with their research, and to inform them and encourage them to explore the vast heritage collection. LAC specialists put their expertise and keen interest to work in creating and disseminating articles, photo albums, videos and podcasts.

The LAC Blog had more than 275,000 views and 72 new posts. A wide variety of topics related to Canadian history and documentary heritage were explored. Of particular note was the post “When Ugandan Asian refugees arrived in Canada in 1972”, as well as a series of eight articles on the role of the early federal infrastructure in various parts of British Columbia following the province’s entry into Canadian Confederation in 1871.

Users were also able to discover the collections of images at LAC through eight new thematic albums on Flickr, including one on maps dating from 1761 to 1763 that delineated Canada (one of the territories of New France) or the new province of Quebec (the term used at the time for one of the colonies in British North America). In 2021–22, the various thematic albums generated more than two million views.

Always very popular, LAC podcasts were listened to 54,000 times this year. LAC also launched a new series of short podcasts entitled Treasures Revealed, in which experts presented items from the collection. Five episodes were produced in 2021–22.

LAC continued to enhance its use of digital technology, not only to provide access to the collection but also to make it available to all generations, anytime, anywhere. Its presence on various social media platforms, including its English YouTube and French YouTube channels, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, proved invaluable in promoting events and publicizing its infrastructure projects. On Instagram, LAC tested the Stories feature that allows for dynamic presentation of content for 24 hours. More than 100 photographs from the collection covering a variety of subjects were posted on the platform to mark Tourism Week and International Archives Week.

Users had opportunities to enrich the digital content themselves through four new challenges on the Co-Lab application. There were a total of 16,205 contributions from the public. One challenge focused on the experiences of women and nursing sisters who served in Canada and abroad during the Second World War. Two other challenges were about First World War posters and travel posters in the Marc Choko collection. Users were also introduced to an improved version of Co-Lab, which now allows users to filter documents by type, language or theme and to view the percentage of work completed for three activities: transcription, translation and description.

To make its website clearer, more user-friendly and more accessible, LAC is working to apply the templates and principles into its new website, which will be launched in 2022–23. With user experience at the heart of its website renewal, LAC developed and tested a user-centric approach and interface.

Indigenous documentary heritage and support for communities

In 2021–22, LAC continued to implement its Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. Significant progress was made on all 28 commitments, and work is nearing completion. A new update will be posted on the LAC website in the near future.

Discussions were maintained with representatives of Indigenous communities. LAC continued to share digitized records related to residential schools with other cultural and memory institutions, while protecting personal and sensitive information.

Nations to Nations: Indigenous Voices at Library and Archives Canada

In the fall of 2021, LAC published a free e-book entitled Nations to Nations: Indigenous Voices at Library and Archives Canada. It can be downloaded for free from Apple Books and EPUB.

Nations to Nations features 28 essays written by LAC staff who identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis Nation members. Each contribution is accompanied by images to present their personal interpretations of items in the collection at LAC (newspapers, maps, artworks, photographs, audiovisual recordings or publications). Most of the materials selected were digitized as part of the We Are Here: Sharing Stories initiative).

Figure 7: Page from Heather Campbell’s essay “Inuktut publications.”

The Nations to Nations texts and recordings feature the following Indigenous languages and dialects: Anishinaabemowin, Anishinabemowin, Denesųłiné, Nêhiyawêwin, Kanien'kéha, Mi'kmaq, Nishnaabemowin, Inuktut and Inuttut, and Michif.

English and French versions of the texts are also available.

LAC supported local communities in providing access to documentary heritage through its contribution programs. The Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative contributed $739,305 to projects carried out by 19 Indigenous organizations across the country. This initiative supports efforts to identify, digitize and preserve recordings about Indigenous languages and cultures, and to enhance the digitization and preservation capacity of organizations. Recipients include the Digitizing the Tłı̨chǫ Audio and Video Archive project (Behchokǫ̀, Northwest Territories) and the Preserving Blackfoot Stories in Treaty 7 Territory project (Calgary, Alberta). A third funding call for this initiative was issued in November 2021. Recipient organizations will be announced in 2022–23. To date, 50 projects have benefited from this contribution program.

In 2021–22, through its Documentary Heritage Communities Program, LAC also provided funding for 41 projects intended to raise awareness of and provide access to Canada’s rich history. These include projects to digitize the Métis Nation of Alberta’s archives as well as video recordings in the archives of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface. LAC will also support projects that focus on descriptive databases, such as that of the Canadian Slovenian Historical Society and the processing of LGBTQ2+ archives by ArQuives. This funding has enabled recipients to acquire the specialized equipment needed to complete their projects and assisted them in upgrading their knowledge and facilitating the discoverability of documents. Over the past fiscal year, LAC followed up closely with recipients and offered some flexibility because of the pandemic.

Collaborating with partners to increase access to documents

To promote access to Canada’s documentary heritage, LAC continued to strengthen its ties with Canadian universities. In June 2021, it met with its 12 university partners to discuss future collaborations.

Over the past year, LAC signed memoranda of understanding with the Université de Montréal, Université Laval, the Archives of Ontario, Vancouver Public Library and the German National Library. It continued to support projects by universities and research teams in their efforts to increase access to Canada’s documentary heritage, including Nouvelle-France numérique, the Muslims in Canada Archives (MiCA), the Mountain Legacy Project and the France in the Americas portal. In 2021–22, LAC also collaborated on the following projects:

  • Namen in het landschap [Names in the Landscape] with the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. This georeferenced portal documents the stories of Canadian soldiers who fought or died in Flanders during the First World War.
  • The Queen’s University Visualizing Indian Day Schools interactive map shows the geographic location of these schools in Canada and associated resource materials. In addition, survivors speak about their experiences and about how attending the schools affected their lives.
  • The virtual exhibition project La mémoire en partage, in conjunction with the Ville de Québec and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

In June 2021, LAC held the third edition of the LAC Forum with University Partners. The theme of this virtual event, which was open to the general public, was “Memory Institutions as Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive Places.” It attracted 286 participants and 19 presenters, including academics, librarians, archivists and information management professionals.

LAC also continued to promote the documentary heritage of official language minority communities (OLMCs). To accomplish this, LAC took a comprehensive approach based on three pillars: relying on evidence (in particular by conducting research in collaboration with OLMC academic researchers); developing an OLMC impact assessment tool for managers; and facilitating and coordinating two networks (an Archival Network and a Library Network) to promote discussion and knowledge sharing with and between institutions and professionals.

In addition to regular meetings of these networks, two thematic workshops were held to enhance the expertise of member organizations. In May 2021, in partnership with the Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française (CRCCF) and the Association des bibliothèques de l’Ontario-Franco (ABO-Franco) and with the support of the two networks, LAC held the National Conference: Archives and Libraries in Official Language Minority Communities – Issues and Future. It was a well-attended event, with 184 people at the four sessions, the two discussion workshops, and the opening session chaired by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Key risks

In its 2021–22 Departmental Plan and its Corporate Risk Profile 2021–2024, LAC identified two risks to this core responsibility. One relates to virtual access to the collection and user expectations, and the other to LAC’s ability to meet its legal obligations for access to the archival records of federal institutions and to personal information.

The mitigation measures identified for both risks were partially implemented. In 2021–22, LAC continued to transform its services, focusing on users’ needs and the user experience. It refined its Collection Search tool to make content easier to find, and it developed personalized digital services (My Account). Regarding the second risk, LAC sought solutions to equip itself digitally to provide the required services according to established standards. Implementing a more effective and efficient digital service delivery model will help to mitigate this risk in the coming years.


Last June, PSPC piloted interactive signage to help people with disabilities navigate indoor spaces independently. This innovative project was tested at LAC’s 395 Wellington Street facility to improve accessibility.

Quick Response (QR) codes and near field communication (NFC) beacons were installed to complement the braille signage at existing signage locations, in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Federal Identity Program (FIP) standards. This includes exits, exit stairs, stairways, washrooms (men’s, women’s, all gender) and non-FIP signage such as large conference rooms, directory boards and wall-mounted primary interior identification signs.

United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals

Figure 8: Carbon-neutral features (green roof and solar panels).

In the Fall Economic Update delivered in November 2020, the Government of Canada announced an additional investment of $34.5 million in Ādisōke, the LAC/OPL joint facility. The funding will be used, among other things, to make significant improvements to the net-zero carbon facility in support of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy: improved exterior cladding and insulation, triple-glazed windows, solar panels on the roof and embedded in the facade, more environmentally friendly construction materials, and an interior green wall.

The investment will reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent. Significant architectural design improvements were made to ensure a net-zero carbon footprint.

Ādisōke will be a Canadian cultural heritage site, a gathering place enjoyed by residents and visitors, and an excellent example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to building sustainable infrastructure.

Results achieved

The following table shows, for providing access to documentary heritage, the results achieved, the performance indicators, the targets and the target dates for 2021–22, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years for which actual results are available.

Departmental results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results 2020–21 Actual results 2021–22 Actual results
Canadians increasingly access Canada’s documentary heritage Amount of LAC holdings digitized 3.5 million images March 31, 2022 3.5 million images 2.2 million images 2.4 million imagestable 4 note 1
Number of unique visitors to LAC’s website and online applications 2 million unique visitors March 31, 2022 Not available 2.7 million unique visitors 2.8 million unique visitors
Number of service transactions at LAC’s national service points in Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver, through all service channels 60,000 transactions March 31, 2022 84,418 transactions 36,622 transactions 50,517 transactionstable 4 note 2
Canadians are more aware of their documentary heritage Number of participants that attended exhibitions and events delivered by LAC or in collaboration with other organizations 60,000 participants March 31, 2022 184,899 participants 13,705 participants 177,527 participants
Number of collection items loaned for exhibitions 50 items March 31, 2022 94 items 20 items 51 items
Percentage of Documentary Heritage Communities Program recipients that have achieved their expected results 85% March 31, 2022 94% 96% 91%
Table 4 Notes
Note 1

The target of 3.5 million images was not met for several reasons. The priority for digitization was support for reprography, ATIP requests and requests associated with the settlement of the Federal Indian Day School Class Action. The COVID-19 pandemic and health restrictions also impacted the absenteeism rate of staff who are normally required to be present at the worksite, which is the case for digitization staff. In addition to the digitization target, LAC processed 2.4 million images digitized by a partner to make them available on its website, which took eight months of work.

Return to table 4 note 1 referrer

Note 2

The target of 60,000 transactions was not met for a variety of reasons. One reason was that the building at 395 Wellington Street had to close because of protesters in downtown Ottawa. However, the number of transactions was up 38 percent compared with last year.

Return to table 4 note 2 referrer

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for providing access to documentary heritage, budgetary spending for 2021–22, as well as actual spending for that year.

2021–22 Main Estimates 2021–22 Planned spending 2021–22 Total authorities available for use 2021–22 Actual spending (authorities used) 2021–22 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
42,266,335 42,266,335 50,935,757 30,336,866 (11,929,469)

The difference between the $50.9 million in total authorities available for use and the $30.3 million in actual spending was mainly due to delays in the Ādisōke project. An alignment of future resource requirements will be performed to match the new spending profile for the implementation of this construction project.

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in full time equivalents, the human resources that LAC needed to fulfill this core responsibility in 2021–22.

2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Actual full-time equivalents 2021–22 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
295 242 (53)

The difference in full-time equivalents is mainly due to higher-than-expected staff turnover in all LAC business lines.

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Internal Services


Internal services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the internal services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • acquisition management services
  • communication services
  • financial management services
  • human resources management and security services
  • information management services
  • information technology services
  • legal services
  • material management services
  • management and oversight services
  • real property management services


Internal services provided support for the implementation of programs and the strategic priorities associated with digital optimization and service transformation.

Agility and technology

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about major changes that highlighted the need to provide online services and to support working remotely. According to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Digital Operations Strategic Plan: 2021–2024, the government needs to build on the momentum of these changes. It must be agile and user‑centric to meet the needs of Canadians and to make digital government a reality. It must also be actively prepared to respond to other disruptions that may occur.

To address changes in the work environment, LAC ensured that the equipment and tools needed to do its work were available to employees at its various facilities or from home. It also implemented the M365 Exchange Online messaging service to replace its email service, which was at the end of its life cycle. This ensured continued access to electronic communication services with employees and applications.

Workplace health and wellness

In 2021–22, LAC continued to promote a healthy, safe and respectful workplace. Its action plan supported its 2020–2022 Workplace Wellness Strategy. The action plan focuses on five components to help the entire organization to transition toward that workplace wellness culture: management, prevention, intervention, improvement and evaluation.

LAC also continued to implement its Hazard Prevention Program to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all. Through this program, all employees are made aware of the specific health and safety risks associated with their duties and are provided with the information required to perform them safely.

In addition, at the beginning of the fiscal year, LAC communicated the new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy to its employees, following the coming into force of the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations in January 2021, employees and managers received relevant training.

Recruiting and retaining a diverse, productive, skilled workforce

LAC continued to implement its 2019–2022 Strategic Plan for People Management. Operational action plans were developed to support it, including the 2019–2022 Diversity and Employment Equity Action Plan. In this action plan, LAC identifies various strategies and activities that support the recommendations in the Final Report of the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion (Building a Diverse and Inclusive Public Service) and the legislative obligations under the Employment Equity Act.

LAC also continued to implement its 2021–24 First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation Recruitment and Retention Strategy, including filling key positions for LAC’s Indigenous initiatives. The strategy is based in part on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action and the principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. LAC also reviewed existing and new human resources policies and practices to ensure that they do not create barriers for members of designated groups and that they are sensitive to diversity.

To meet the new requirements of the Accessible Canada Act and implement the Accessibility Strategy for the Public Service of Canada, LAC rolled out its Interim Action Plan. The plan contains targeted and ongoing measures along with initiatives and timelines.

LAC supported employees in acquiring knowledge and skills through the implementation of its new learning path. The path includes a number of mandatory training activities, focusing in particular on diversity, harassment and discrimination in the workplace. LAC’s learning framework offers training in three priority areas: leadership and management, healthy work environment, and individual development and growth.

LAC developed a mentoring program that will help to close the career progression gap for employment equity and equity-seeking members of the EX, equivalent and EX-minus-one communities. In addition, LAC developed a career management program for ATIP specialists in conjunction with an advisory committee. The program will be launched in 2022–23.

Managing the real property portfolio

As an institution responsible for preserving Canada’s documentary heritage for current and future generations, LAC owns, manages and operates five specialized facilities in Canada. LAC’s space requirements are determined by the size of the collection and its future growth. In addition to its five facilities, LAC leases office and specialized storage space in the National Capital Region. It also has collaboration agreements for space in Vancouver Public Library’s Library Square Tower and in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax.

In 2021–22, LAC worked on the third phase of its Real Property Master Plan. This involved developing a strategic action plan that outlines possible directions to consider in terms of planning LAC’s real property portfolio, with due regard for key operational considerations. The plan lays the foundations for the development of LAC’s real property portfolio strategy and identifies the next steps and associated actions.

Building on the lessons learned during the pandemic, which saw staff adapt quickly to remote working and health measures, LAC launched “The Future of Work at LAC” initiative. This initiative is an in-depth exercise in thinking about how and where we work in the post-pandemic era and is aligned with Vision 2030. The working group’s reflections during the summer of 2021 focused on four main themes: organizational culture, staff, purpose and workplace. Employees were consulted and informed throughout the project through discussion sessions, workshops, a survey and several internal communications.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for internal services, budgetary spending for 2021–22, as well as actual spending for that year.

2021–22 Main Estimates 2021–22 Planned spending 2021–22 Total authorities available for use 2021–22 Actual spending (authorities used) 2021–22 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
33,888,653 33,888,653 34,946,545 34,912,820 1,024,167

The difference between the $34.95 million in total authorities available for use and the $34.91 million in actual spending is negligible.

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in full time equivalents, the human resources that LAC needed to carry out its internal services in 2021–22.

2021–22 Planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 Actual full-time equivalents 2021–22 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
298 251 (47)

The difference is mainly due to higher-than-expected staff turnover in all LAC business lines.

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Spending and human resources


The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time.

Spending 2019–20 to 2024–25
Organizational spending trend, see text version below
Figure 9: Departmental spending trend (dollars) – text version
Fiscal years Statutory Voted Total
2019–2020 11,894,413 122,459,782 134,354,195
2020–2021 12,475,871 117,903,335 130,379,206
2021–2022 10,723,849 121,079,423 131,803,272
2022–2023 12,274,023 210,049,001 222,323,024
2023-2024 12,372,762 172,452,309 184,825,071
2024-2025 11,946,881 136,008,482 147,955,363

The figure illustrates the trend in LAC’s expenditures, in dollars, over a six-year period from 2019–20 to 2024–25 (three fiscal years of actual spending and three fiscal years of planned spending, based on the most recent 2022–23 Departmental Plan).

The change in LAC’s spending profile from year to year is mainly due to temporary funding received for the following initiatives:

  • Preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures, announced in Budget 2017 (2017–18 to 2020–21)
  • The initiative for the acquisition, processing, preservation and accessibility of the private papers of former prime minister the Right Honourable Stephen Harper (2017–18 to 2021–22)
  • Support for the Government of Canada’s response to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Purge Class Action Settlement (2018–19 and 2019–20)
  • The initiative to implement the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls announced in Budget 2021 (2021–22 to 2024–25)
  • The real property portfolio, including construction of the Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau; the financial profile for 2022–23 includes an anticipated substantial completion payment of $36.1 million for this construction project
  • Partnership between LAC, OPL and the City of Ottawa for the Ādisōke project; the financial profile includes $48.3 million in additional reserve funds for construction costs (2022–23 to 2024–25)

Budgetary performance summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

The following table presents the budgetary financial resources allocated for LAC’s core responsibilities and for internal services.

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2021–22 Main Estimates 2021–22 Planned spending 2022–23 Planned spending 2023–24 Planned spending 2021–22 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2020–21 Actual spending (authorities used) 2021–22 Actual spending (authorities used)
Acquiring and preserving documentary heritage 67,206,826 67,206,826 103,769,464 69,958,117 76,490,012 61,038,313 58,177,125 66,553,586
Providing access to documentary heritage 42,266,335 42,266,335 42,380,129 44,434,743 50,935,757 33,359,682 32,504,503 30,336,866
Subtotal 109,473,161 109,473,161 146,149,593 114,392,860 127,425,769 94,397,995 90,681,628 96,890,452
Internal Services 33,888,653 33,888,653 34,026,232 34,036,501 34,946,545 39,956,200 39,697,578 34,912,820
Total 143,361,814 143,361,814 180,175,825 148,429,361 162,372,314 134,354,195 130,379,206 131,803,272

In 2021–22, the $19.0 million difference between the $143.4 million in planned spending published in the 2021–22 Departmental Plan and the $162.4 million in total authorities is mainly due to additional funding received during the year, including:

  • An increase of $7.4 million related to the partnership between LAC, OPL and the City of Ottawa for the joint facility project (Ādisōke)
  • An increase of $6.7 million related to the carry-forward of the operating budget and the carry-forward of the capital budget
  • An increase of $3.0 million related to the real property portfolio’s changing financial profile to support the long-term portfolio management strategy
  • An increase of $1.9 million related to the Budget 2021 initiative to implement the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Human resources

The following table presents the full-time equivalents allocated to each of LAC’s core responsibilities and to internal services.

Human resources summary for core responsibilities and internal services
Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2019–20 actual full time equivalents 2020–21 actual full time equivalents 2021–22 planned full-time equivalents 2021–22 actual full time equivalents 2022–23 planned full time equivalents 2023–24 planned full time equivalents
Acquiring and preserving documentary heritage 424 408 417 360 417 413
Providing access to documentary heritage 314 285 295 242 289 276
Subtotal 738 693 712 602 706 689
Internal Services 303 298 298 251 298 298
Total 1,041 991 1,010 853 1,004 987

In 2021–22, the difference between the planned full-time equivalents of 1,010 and the actual full-time equivalents of 853 is mainly due to higher-than-expected staff turnover in all LAC business lines.

Expenditures by vote

For information on LAC’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2021.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of LAC’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

LAC’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2022, are available on the LAC website.

Financial statements highlights

The highlights presented in this section are taken from LAC's financial statements and are prepared on a full accrual basis. These financial statements have been prepared using Government of Canada accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards.

The variance between the figures provided in other sections of this report, which were prepared on an expenditure basis, and the figures that follow, which were prepared on an accrual basis, relates to accrual entries such as the recognition of services without charge received from other government departments and the acquisition of capital assets and related amortization expenses, as well as to accrued liability adjustments.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2021 (dollars)
Financial information 2021–22 Planned results 2021–22 Actual results 2020–21 Actual results Difference (2021–22 Actual results minus 2021–22 Planned results) Difference (2021–22 Actual results minus 2020–21 Actual results)
Total expenses 138,896,850 144,475,106 149,000,482 5,578,256 (4,525,376)
Total revenues 550,000 3,601,048 3,033,415 3,051,048 567,633
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 138,346,850 140,874,058 145,967,067 2,527,208 (5,093,009)


Total expenses for fiscal year 2021–22, amounted to $144.5 million, a decrease of $4.5 million over the previous year’s total expenses. This decrease in expenditures is mainly attributable to:

  • a decrease in salaries and benefits expenses of $14.0 million as a result of salary savings generated by a higher than expected staff turnover in all LAC’s sectors;
  • an increase in professional and special services of $7.4 million mainly due to costs related to the Public–Private Partnership agreement as well as claims from the private partner for impacts related to COVID-19 during the construction of the new Preservation Storage Facility;
  • an increase in tax expenses on our various buildings and lands of $2.1 million.


Total revenues for fiscal year 2021–22, amounted to $3.6 million, an increase of $0.6 million over the previous year’s total revenues. This increase is mainly due to increased expenses incurred in response to class actions that were recovered from other federal government departments.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2022 (dollars)
Financial information 2021–22 2020–21 Difference (2021–22 minus 2020–21)
Total net liabilities 169,234,628 107,909,153 61,325,475
Total net financial assets 19,617,327 13,695,869 5,921,458
Departmental net debt 149,617,301 94,213,284 55,404,017
Total non-financial assets 260,226,295 194,316,669 65,909,626
Departmental net financial position 110,608,994 100,103,385 10,505,609


Total liabilities amounted to $169.2 million as at March 31, 2022, an increase of $61.3 million over the previous year’s total liabilities. This increase is mainly due to the increase in liabilities associated with the costs incurred by the private partner for the construction of the new Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau, as well as an increase in payables at year-end related to the private partner’s claims for impacts related to COVID-19 during the construction of this building.


Total assets (including financial and non-financial assets) amounted to $279.8 million as at March 31, 2022, an increase of $71.8 million over the previous year’s total assets. This increase in mainly attributable to:

  • an increase of tangible capital assets of $65.9 million mainly due to the construction project of the Preservation Storage Facility in Gatineau as well as capital investment made by LAC in various construction such as the Ādisōke project and betterments to existing buildings;
  • an increase of $5.0 million in the amount due from the Consolidated Revenue Fund directly correlated with the increase in payables at year-end.

The planned results information is provided in LAC’s Future-Oriented Statement of Operations 2021–22.

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Institutional head: Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Ministerial portfolio: Department of Canadian Heritage

Enabling instrument: Library and Archives of Canada Act, S.C. 2004, c. 11

Year of incorporation: 2004

Acronym: LAC

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

"Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do" is available on LAC’s website.

For more information on the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on LAC’s website.

Reporting framework

LAC’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2021–22 are shown below.

LAC’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2021–2022 are shown below
LAC’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2021–22 – text version

This image depicts LAC’s Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory for 2021—22. The two Core Responsibilities are presented at the highest level above, accompanied by their Departmental Results and the indicators used to measure them. The programs and their indicator are presented at the level below.


Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for LAC’s Program Inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on LAC’s website:

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions,rals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs as well as evaluations and GBA Plus of tax expenditures.

Organizational contact information

Mailing address:
550 de la Cité Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
J8T 0A7

Telephone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
Fax: 613-995-6274

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)

Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)

Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

core responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)

An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.

departmental plan (plan ministériel)

A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a three year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.

departmental priority (priorité)

A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.

departmental result (résultat ministériel)

A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.

departmental result indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)

A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.

departmental results framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)

A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.

departmental results report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.

experimentation (expérimentation)

The conducting of activities that seek to first explore, then test and compare the effects and impacts of policies and interventions in order to inform evidence-based decision-making, and improve outcomes for Canadians, by learning what works, for whom and in what circumstances. Experimentation is related to, but distinct from innovation (the trying of new things), because it involves a rigorous comparison of results. For example, using a new website to communicate with Canadians can be an innovation; systematically testing the new website against existing outreach tools or an old website to see which one leads to more engagement, is experimentation.

full time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)

A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the full time equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.

gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS Plus])

An analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs and other initiatives; and understand how factors such as sex, race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, geography, culture and disability, impact experiences and outcomes, and can affect access to and experience of government programs.

government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)

For the purpose of the 2021–22 Departmental Results Report, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2020 Speech from the Throne, namely: Protecting Canadians from COVID-19; Helping Canadians through the pandemic; Building back better – a resiliency agenda for the middle class; The Canada we’re fighting for.

horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)

An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.

non budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)

Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement)

What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)

A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)

The process of communicating evidence based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

plan (plan)

The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.

planned spending (dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.

program (programme)

Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.

program inventory (répertoire des programmes)

Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.

result (résultat)

A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)

Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

target (cible)

A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées)

Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.