a peek inside the fishbowl

01 Mar, 2012

Giveaway alert! And a bit about the Children’s Arts Tax Credit

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews

Some of you probably already know about the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, but did you know there’s one for Arts programs as well? (Confession: I did not know this before now!)

Parents with children under the age of 16 can receive a credit for up to $75 per child. Artistic and cultural activities include literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, music, media, languages, customs and heritage.

What programs are eligible? Well, good question. I was wondering that too. Here’s how they lay it out.

Eligible activities include an activity that:

  • contributes to the development of creative skills or expertise in artistic or cultural activities;
  • provides a substantial focus on wilderness and the natural environment;
  • helps children develop and use particular intellectual skills;
  • includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills; or
  • provides enrichment or tutoring in academic subjects.

That means that things like piano lessons and drama camp are eligible. Cool eh?

This video explains it all, clear as a bell. You really should watch it, because it explains things better than I can. Besides, numbers and taxes make my head hurt. Especially when I haven’t had a coffee.

You can find more info about the Children’s Arts Tax Credit on the Canada Revenue Agency website. And if you’re not sure if a particular program your child is enrolled in fits the bill, I recommend you call and ask the organizers.

Now the giveaway part! kbs+p (the advertising agency for the Canada Revenue Agency) has sponsored this post but I’m flipping the income over to you. Awhile back, on the Fishbowl Facebook page I asked you guys to vote on what kind of gift card you covet most. I thought you’d go for groceries (I would have bought $100 worth of cheese myself) but the majority rules here. Chapters.ca won!


  • This giveaway is for one (1) $100 gift card for Chapters.
  • This giveaway is open to Canadian residents but is void in Quebec. (Here’s why.)
  • To enter this giveaway, all you need to tell someone else about the Children’s Arts Tax Credit. You can blog about it, send out a tweet (mention me @missfish!), post a quickie Facebook status update with a link to this post, whatever! You MUST let me know what you did in the comments below otherwise your entry will not qualify.
  • I will do a random draw of all qualifying comments at noon EST on Thursday March 8, 2012 and mail the gift card to the winner.

Sound good? Over to you!

91 Responses to "Giveaway alert! And a bit about the Children’s Arts Tax Credit"

1 | Nat

March 1st, 2012 at 10:19 am


Day camps in general can also be claimed. It’s sometimes more advantageous to claim it under this revenue line than to claim it under the arts or physical activity credit line.

(What the software told me anyway…)

2 | Ms. Joy

March 1st, 2012 at 10:20 am


This is fantastic news! My daughter loves her art camps and this is an added benefit. I tweeted a link to this post. :)


3 | Melissa Dimock (@refashionista)

March 1st, 2012 at 10:24 am


Posted to Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=374487162569924&id=530875539

One of our guys does violin lessons AND dance class, so it’s great to have these things count — the cost adds up and the credit is a great incentive for a lot of people.

4 | Leanne Mackenzie

March 1st, 2012 at 10:26 am


Our son does Violin lessons :)

6 | Donna Todd

March 1st, 2012 at 10:42 am


This is the first year in a while we have had nothing to claim for any of our five children!! Next year will be different though!

Posted to Facebook!!! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617030503

7 | Nicole (@RantingRaving)

March 1st, 2012 at 10:48 am


I tweeted and posted it on FB. What a great tax break!

8 | kathy mihill

March 1st, 2012 at 10:57 am


posted to facebook

9 | Mel Gallant

March 1st, 2012 at 11:01 am


I had no idea! This is awesome as I’m currently looking into something fun and artsy for DD to do.

I tweeted this news!

10 | Kaitlin

March 1st, 2012 at 11:09 am


Facebooked, mentioning my sister-in-law, since her daughter is doing all sorts of amazing art things :)


11 | Lyssa Rhodes

March 1st, 2012 at 11:28 am


Twitter: @ukwife and posted about it on Facebook – great info and linked back to your blog and the gov’t website, thanks so much!

12 | Karen at Virtually There

March 1st, 2012 at 11:28 am


For all those Girl Guides out there, your Girl Guide fees qualify for this tax credit! Which is great. And I mentioned this fact when I posted a link back to your post on Facebook.

13 | Valerie

March 1st, 2012 at 11:30 am


I linked the video to Facebook. Not your whole entry, though, because much as I’d love to share your writing (and have done so in the past), I’d also like to have a better chance of winning, LOL! ;)

Seconding what Nat said – day camps can be claimed already under daycare fees. Now I’ll have to take the time to figure out which is the better spot (or maybe they’re equal – hope Turbo Tax tells me!). :p

14 | Mommy Marshall

March 1st, 2012 at 11:36 am


We will be claiming the full amount for this credit for sure! Thanks for the reminder on your blog.

I shared this on my facebook btw.

Thanks for the chance for winning this giveaway. I loooooove Chapters!

15 | elsewise

March 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am


I’m emailing this to my sister (…who has a child. I don’t. Heh). Thanks!

16 | Elaine

March 1st, 2012 at 11:58 am


I reposted on Facebook. My family Lives at Chapters. Thanks for the info.

17 | Max

March 1st, 2012 at 12:15 pm


reposted on facebook. Can use it but could have in the past. Darn.

18 | Brenda A.

March 1st, 2012 at 12:39 pm


What great timing for this! Just this morning I was reading through my new Canadian Living and saw an article on exactly this! I shared your post on FB to spread the word!

19 | Jennifer G.

March 1st, 2012 at 12:43 pm


Posted to FB, thanks for this.

20 | Nikki

March 1st, 2012 at 12:48 pm


I didn’t know this either! Every little bit helps. Thanks! (Also tweeted it @nikkimellow.)

21 | Tara

March 1st, 2012 at 12:53 pm


Thanks for the post. I did not know about this. My kids take Music lessons, so will be claiming this.

I have sent an e-mail to Family members to let them know too.

22 | Elizabeth

March 1st, 2012 at 1:03 pm


I shared it in person with the parents of the art class my daughter attends. Very good news…

23 | Heather

March 1st, 2012 at 1:16 pm


Spread the word to friends through email.
Thanks for sharing this info as I didn’t have a clue on this tax credit !

24 | Fraser

March 1st, 2012 at 1:33 pm


tweeted – thanks!

25 | wendy

March 1st, 2012 at 1:43 pm


I would have shared this on Facebook etc even if you didn’t have a giveaway!
I have 3 daughters and one is a single Mom.
We are always looking for “deals”
My Grandaughter is blessed to be great at sports and dance.
She just finished a session at Kali Andrews, which my daughter bought with a Groupon.
I was looking at the classes at 4 cats art studio as it looks so wonderful.
Thanks for the great info and I will pass along on Facebook! AND the old fashioned way, word of mouth!

26 | maria

March 1st, 2012 at 2:32 pm


I tweeted @mariab76

27 | Carly

March 1st, 2012 at 2:41 pm


Yup this tax break, as well as the one for fitness activities. It’s great to be able to claim something other than child care. I’ve linked back to this post on Facebook and tweeted about it.

28 | binki

March 1st, 2012 at 3:03 pm


Don’t Tweet or Facebook but I did Speak it to my friends/relatives. It’s funny, I was doing my taxes last night and wondered why two of our summer camps sent us tax receipts. Now I know! Timely info. Thanks!

29 | Sara

March 1st, 2012 at 3:38 pm


Great news and if there is a fitness tax credit out there for children, it’s about time there is an Art and Music credit out there for such great programs out there for the kids.

I posted your give-away too on my blog.


30 | Cindy

March 1st, 2012 at 4:34 pm


I do tax prep and E-filing as a side business to my normal job, and I tell all my clients with children about this credit so that if they have kids in any of the qualifying activities they can bring in the receipts so that I can claim it for them!

31 | binki

March 1st, 2012 at 4:39 pm


“includes structured interaction among children where supervisors teach or help children develop interpersonal skills”

Sounds like after-school daycare…no? ;-)

32 | Danielle

March 1st, 2012 at 5:01 pm


Thanks for the info. So happy they added the Arts credit :)

Shared on Facebook

33 | Alison in Ottawa

March 1st, 2012 at 6:50 pm


I retweeted this. I have to pick up the ones for dancing on Saturday! Must. Not. Forget. That is cool that Guides counts… I didn’t know that.

34 | Erin

March 1st, 2012 at 7:43 pm


I posted on a homeschooling board. It’s so important to acknowledge all types of growth, whether through sports or the arts!

35 | Heather R

March 1st, 2012 at 7:46 pm


I tweeted about it!

I actually just read about this in the paper yesterday. I thin its awesome and can’t wait to take advantage of it. I will share it on facebook too, to reach my other group of friends! Thanks Andrea!!

37 | Ange

March 1st, 2012 at 9:12 pm


I was so excited when I first heard about this, as mine is passionate about guitar, and it helps just a bit to have that credit available to offset it!

[I tweeted it just now!]

38 | Mel

March 1st, 2012 at 9:22 pm


cool, thanks for the heads up! I had no idea (but apparently it`s not news to my hubby, which I guess is good since he does our taxes!). I sent an email to a friend.

39 | Shakira

March 1st, 2012 at 9:25 pm


I posted on Facebook and Twitter. I had no idea but I am super excited about this new knowledge!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the fab giveaway!!

40 | DaniGirl

March 2nd, 2012 at 8:31 am


Just thought I’d pop in to say it’s almost always more advantageous to claim day camps as child care first, and then if you’ve hit the max you can claim the rest as the kids’ art or fitness credits, depending on the program.

(Please don’t enter me in the giveaway!)

42 | Carey Mackinnon

March 2nd, 2012 at 9:55 am


Love this! Is it on top of the fitness tax credit or combined with it?

I tweeted a link to this article! :)

43 | Tricia May

March 2nd, 2012 at 10:11 am


I facebooked it – I have friends who can definately use this. Thanks for the info!

45 | Linda S

March 2nd, 2012 at 12:48 pm


Emailed my sister. Linda
Thanks for the info. :)

47 | Cari

March 2nd, 2012 at 1:35 pm


I told a lady at the gym that the camp she signed her daughter up for may be eligible. She hadn’t realized that.

48 | Psychgrad

March 2nd, 2012 at 3:12 pm


Just tweeted about it! Good stuff to know.

49 | Chris

March 2nd, 2012 at 3:15 pm


We have a neighbourhood moms “ladies auxiliary” (read: our night out to network while at the pub) and I am sharing this arts tax credit with them pronto.
So, glad I stumbled on your blogg site. Thx.

50 | Sarah

March 2nd, 2012 at 7:43 pm


Happy to share this good news! Posted on FB (and will gladly do the old-fashioned word of mouth!)

51 | Shawna

March 2nd, 2012 at 9:14 pm


In fact I did know about this credit, but I tweeted it to let others know too!

52 | Brenda Penton

March 2nd, 2012 at 10:15 pm


I just learned about it and tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/newfiechic/status/175781084024410112

53 | Natalie

March 3rd, 2012 at 12:21 am


While $100 in cheese is good, I much prefer Chapters. lol. Just tweeted via @natalievana: https://twitter.com/#!/natalievana/status/175812672078622722

54 | Francine

March 3rd, 2012 at 6:19 am



(maybe I’ll get a book about cheese!)

55 | Natalie

March 3rd, 2012 at 9:21 am


I tweeted!

My older daughter takes vocal lessons and we were so happy to be able to claim some of that this year:)

56 | Natalie

March 3rd, 2012 at 9:23 am


Forgot to put the link – in case that’s required:


57 | Lara C W

March 3rd, 2012 at 11:36 am


Hi Andrea I sent out a tweet about it and mentioned you plus retweeted your tweet. Great info (I didn’t know about it either!)

59 | Cheryl Morreale (@loucheryl)

March 3rd, 2012 at 8:08 pm


Great article. I shared it on my Facebook wall: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=198389040266240&id=691898515

60 | Ingrid

March 3rd, 2012 at 9:07 pm


Shared on Facebook, thanks so much! I had no idea this existed, either.

61 | Leah

March 4th, 2012 at 8:41 am


I retweeted through my @2ndgracevintage account. Thanks for posting this – I have a 12 yr old at home who is very busy with after school activities!

63 | Colleen M. Cole

March 4th, 2012 at 8:15 pm


I tweeted about it as @30minutes4me

64 | Joan Harrison

March 5th, 2012 at 8:38 am


I put a fb post about it…it is great mostly because it suggests that engagement in the arts is as important as engagement in sports. (BOTH can be physical activities!) However, the amount is small and, aside from sending a message to the government about just how many parents feel that the arts IS important for their children’s education, depending on how much paperwork there is and how long it takes to fill it out, etc., it may be worth very little….

65 | Vicky Rosenberg

March 5th, 2012 at 12:01 pm


posted on FaceBook and sent to my daughter and son-in-law

67 | Jen

March 5th, 2012 at 8:27 pm


this is a fab giveaway! i posted about it on the links area of my blog…

thank you for the chance! crossing fingers and toes.

68 | Leslie

March 6th, 2012 at 10:14 am


Thanks for the tip! I’ve retweeted and “Liked” and posted to my personal FB page. Every parent should know about this.

69 | Giulia

March 6th, 2012 at 10:17 am


I tweeted about it. We try to claim every possible thing as having those kiddos is an expensive adventure ;).
Great give-away!

70 | Monique Flocco

March 6th, 2012 at 10:25 am


I retweeted it! @jeweled_mom_ont. Thanks for the info… fingers crossed I’ll win the giveaway!

72 | Suze

March 7th, 2012 at 11:27 am


I tweeted a link to your post (and alerted my brother with three little ones more inclined to art than sports): https://twitter.com/#!/stillbaking/status/177429990059683841

73 | sweetkeet

March 7th, 2012 at 11:28 am


I tweeted about this/RT’d – really great info for parents!

74 | Crissie

March 7th, 2012 at 11:29 am


RT’d your tweet @CrissieC and Liked of Facebook!

75 | @sweetkeet

March 7th, 2012 at 11:29 am


Sorry, my sweetkeet name is @sweetkeet on Twitter – that’s where you’ll find my tweet.

76 | Nancy T

March 7th, 2012 at 11:31 am


I tweeted about it here! https://twitter.com/#!/Momma2Loveys/status/177430768686071809
I love tips that can save me on my income tax. :)

77 | Natalie Chizen

March 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am


I actually did know about this, and my son took art last year :) Thanks!

I follow and tweeted @Luet02:


78 | Sue

March 7th, 2012 at 11:51 am


I tweeted about this. This is fantastic news!!

79 | Sue

March 7th, 2012 at 11:55 am


FYI My tweet is under Sue1788

80 | Hellcat13

March 7th, 2012 at 11:59 am


I didn’t know about this! I don’t have kids, but many of my Twitter friends do, so I passed it along on Twitter.


81 | Tracy Pound

March 7th, 2012 at 12:43 pm


Tweeted link to CATC via @poundlounge and mentioned our arts friends @4catsInglewood #yyc

82 | MB

March 7th, 2012 at 12:52 pm


re-tweeted your reminder.

83 | Cid

March 7th, 2012 at 12:54 pm


Thanks for the heads up. If I can convince my boys to take up any kind of arts instead of sports I’m in. Tweeted @cidhurst

84 | Heather T

March 7th, 2012 at 2:17 pm


Excellent information. Thank you for sharing that!

I tweeted about it here:

Thanks for the chance to win!

85 | Laurie

March 7th, 2012 at 5:22 pm


I tweeted with a link to this post! https://twitter.com/#!/lauriek

86 | Shannon Barlow

March 8th, 2012 at 8:13 am


We haven’t signed our kids up for any classes yet, but hope to soon. Thats an incentive for sure! Thanks for the chance, and I tweeted!

87 | Elsa

March 8th, 2012 at 9:40 am


I retweeted you! I’m @ayogalibrarian ;)

89 | Melodie

March 8th, 2012 at 11:10 am


posted to Facebook

90 | andrea

March 8th, 2012 at 12:01 pm


It’s after 12! Comments are officially closed to new entries. Stay tuned for the winner!

91 | andrea

March 8th, 2012 at 12:06 pm


The winner is commenter #55 – Natalie – who wrote

“I tweeted!
My older daughter takes vocal lessons and we were so happy to be able to claim some of that this year:)”

Congratulations Natalie! I will be emailing you ASAP and popping the gift card in the mail! :) Thanks everyone for your entries and for helping me spread the word about the Children’s Arts Tax Credit!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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