$4.4 million investment will support local economies and help people reconnect with their communities in new ways
Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending – but the industry has been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19.
To that end, today our PC government announced a $4.4 million investment to help support the long-term sustainability of the province’s vital tourism industry. This funding will help deliver innovative, safe experiences, like virtual festivals and events, and support tourism operators.
Our government is investing more than $3.4 million to support 27 local events and initiatives through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program. The Reconnect Festival and Event Program allows event organizers who have adapted or who are adapting to new public safety requirements to apply for funding to allow for their events to continue. This ensures support is directed to community-based events working to deliver innovative and safe experiences, while creating opportunities that encourage Ontarians to reconnect with the beauty and diversity of their community in new and innovative ways.
To give organizations more time to develop new programming and submit applications, the government is waiving the minimum operating budget requirement and extending the deadline by three weeks to December 22, 2020.
Through the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund, we are also investing more than $912,000 in 14 initiatives, which vary from a First Nations eco-lodge to urban tours under a busy overpass to memberships in tourism associations. This Fund supports projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations.
These investments in the Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund will help support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario, making sure we are well positioned to re-emerge stronger, and once again showcase how Ontario offers the world in one province.