This funding will help deliver innovative, safe experiences, like virtual festivals and events, and support tourism operators as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism and Culture, was at Stackt Market to announce the first recipients of the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.
“This pandemic continues to disproportionately impact tourism and culture – two major industries which were hit first, the hardest, and will take the longest to recover,” MacLeod said. “It is critical that we support organizations as they adapt and find new ways to engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs. Through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund, our government’s investments 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.”
Through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, Ontario is investing more than $3.4 million to support 27 local events and initiatives. These events are the first to be approved through the program, which was launched in October 2020. This funding will support festival and event organizers as they adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings.
The Ontario government is also investing more than $912,000 in 14 initiatives through the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund. The $1.5-million fund is an application-based, cost-sharing program designed to provide funding for projects that encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry. Applications are being accepted on an on-going basis.
Eligible events for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program include reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve sky light displays.
To make the Reconnect Festival and Event Program accessible to more organizers, the government is waiving the minimum operating budget requirement. To give organizations more time to develop new programming and submit applications, the Reconnect Festival and Event Program deadline will be extended by three weeks to December 22, 2020, at 5 p.m.
The first 27 events and initiatives receiving support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program:
|Event Name||Organization Name||Location||Funding|
|2021 Winter Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Musical||Totally Legit Productions Inc||Ottawa||$210,550|
|A Country Christmas at Saunders Farm||Saunders Farm Inc.||Ottawa||$94,750|
|Airshow London presents SkyDrive||Airshow London||London||$50,000|
|Aurora’s Winter Series||The Town of Aurora||Aurora||$40,175|
|Bench Winterfest||Bench Brewing||Lincoln||$64,074|
|Bluffs Winter Wonderland||Roadshow Events||Toronto||$44,100|
|City View Drive-In Concert Series||Maya Corp||Toronto||$253,000|
|Downey’s Christmas at the Farm||Downey’s Farm Market Ltd||Caledon||$50,500|
|Enchanted and the Festival of Lights||Belleville Downtown District BIA||Belleville||$27,607|
|From Ontario, With Love||BT/A Advertising||Provincewide (Online)||$950,000|
|Hamilton Winterfest 2021||City of Hamilton-Tourism and Culture Division||Hamilton||$25,500|
|Haunted Walk “Bubble Tours” Adapted Tour Programs and Virtual Events||Haunted Walks Inc.||Ottawa||$55,000|
|Illuminate Downtown Guelph||Downtown Guelph Business Association||Guelph||$100,220|
|Illusionarium||Starvox Exhibits Inc.||Toronto||$325,000|
|JLF TORONTO 2020 (VIRTUAL)||Teamwork Arts (Canada) Inc.||Provincewide (Online)||$24,950|
|Lights On Stratford||Stratford Tourism Alliance||Stratford||$146,000|
|Live At The Drive-In||Skware Eyes Collaborative||Hamilton||$68,575|
|Love Kingston||Tourism Kingston||Kingston||$95,700|
|Moksha Canada’s Afro-Caribbean Festival||Moksha Canada Foundation||Vaughan||$19,400|
|Muskoka Winter Lights||Huntsville/Lake Of Bays Chamber of Commerce||Huntsville||$290,300|
|Ontario Place Outdoor Cinema||Ontario Place Corporation||Toronto||$130,985|
|Riverfest Elora Presents: ICE JAM at the Elora Mill||Riverfest Elora||Centre Wellington||$43,500|
|SOM Return to Live||Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival Inc.||Burlington||$27,550|
|THE ARMOURY IN LIGHTS DRIVE-IN EXPERIENCE||FOUR DIAMOND EVENTS||Chatham-Kent||$62,695|
|The Essentials||The Bentway Conservancy||Toronto||$78,000|
|The Dino Festival||THEMUSEUM||Kitchener||$74,238|
|The Winter Experience at Mountsberg||The Halton Region Conservation Authority||Hamilton||$116,625|