Contribution Programs

The National Search and Rescue Secretariat (the Secretariat) provides national-level policy advice and funding opportunities for the many search and rescue (SAR) organizations across Canada. Contribution programs are an important part of that work.

Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund

The Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF) is designed to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and innovation of SAR activities.

The SAR NIF has contributed significantly to improving Canada's ability to provide an effective and capable SAR response in all areas and jurisdictions. Its ultimate outcome is to enable a seamless system through improved partnerships and increased interoperability and cooperation.

SAR NIF contributes financially towards projects that improve and enhance its objectives:


Educate individuals and organizations on the assessment of risks and the importance of acquiring and using the knowledge, skills and equipment needed to minimize injury and/or loss of life


Ensure an effective and capable SAR response in all areas of Canada

How to apply

The Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund program is accepting applications for funding between Wednesday, November 1, 2023 and Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 12:00pm (noon) Pacific time.

For more information: Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund

SAR NIF Review

In 2020, Public Safety auditors released an Evaluation Report of the SAR NIF. Its purpose was to examine the relevance, design and implementation, and performance of the SAR NIF. The evaluation covered the period from fiscal year 2015-16 to 2019-20.

The audit noted numerous strengths of the program including its positive and necessary support for SAR capabilities across Canada, particularly in the area of ground SAR and that its governance was appropriate.

Public Safety appreciates the work of evaluators in the research and development of its thoughtful evaluation report and is taking steps to implement its recommendations. We anticipate that the changes will make the program accessible to a broader range of organizations within the SAR community. In addition, administrative changes are expected to reduce the application burden among those eligible to apply.

SARscene: National search and rescue conference

The national SAR conference, or SARscene, is an annual forum that helps with the coordination and implementation of SAR activities in Canada.

The conference is for the SAR community, by the SAR community. It provides an opportunity for participants to improve skills, share knowledge and best practices, learn about what's new and to continue collaboration across all levels of SAR and emergency management in Canada.

Participation is open to anyone interested from departments, and organizations related to SAR, including members of the private sector, all levels of government, and non-governmental organizations.

Public Safety provides funding to non-governmental organizations to coordinate the conference through the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF).

SARscene 2023, was hosted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association, and took place in St. John’s, NL on September 14-17, 2023. For information about the event, visit SARSCENE 2023 – Learning from the past – Evolving for the future.

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