Ontario Government Set to Fund Local Festivals in Halton
Tourism supports nearly 390,000 jobs and generates over $34 billion of economic activity in Ontario. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.
Despite these facts, Tourism Toronto, which helps fund other cities through the Regional Tourism Organization funding, announced that they will no longer be receiving funding from the Ontario government starting next year.
However, recently, the Ontario government has announced that they will be investing over $13 million in over 250 festivals and events in communities across the province.
They will also give an additional $4 million to fund Blockbuster events.
The goal of this funding is to create jobs and drive local tourism. This alternate way of funding puts the decision in the hands of the Ontario government instead of municipalities.
At a public meeting at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Michael Tibollo, the minister of tourism, culture and sport, and Burlington MPP Jane McKenna announced funding for Celebrate Ontario 2019.
Celebrate Ontario is a program that supports festivals and events like the Telling Tales Festivals. The government is investing $40,000 into the festival. The Telling Tales Festival will now be extended to add a third festival day at the Royal Botanical Gardens in late September with readings by Canadian authors and illustrators, nature walks and activities for families.
“Our festival connects young people with Canada’s leading children’s authors, illustrators, storytellers and musicians - and thanks to Celebrate Ontario, we’ll be expanding our audience of families not just from our own backyard but from across the province,” said Executive Director of Telling Tales Susan Jasper.
Celebrate Ontario supports local festivals and events of all sizes to reach new audiences, improve programs for visitors, benefit local economies, and create new jobs. According to the government, every dollar invested through Celebrate Ontario results in almost $21 of visitor spending.
“By investing in festivals and events, our government is tapping into the economic potential of the tourism industry. As we develop Ontario’s new tourism strategy, we will continue to invest in programs like Celebrate Ontario that help to maximize the growth and competitiveness of the great festivals and events that take place throughout the province,” said Minister Tibollo.
The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster category supports either a major or recurring national and international events in Ontario.
“Through Celebrate Ontario, we are making strategic investments to support festivals and events across the province. This program sends a message that we are backing our great local festivals and ensuring Ontario is open for business,” said MPP McKenna.
The government will announce the recipients of this funding in the upcoming days.
What do you think of this alternate way of funding local tourism?
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