McGuinty government helps First Night® TORONTO ring in the New Year

Archived Release

McGuinty government helps First Night® TORONTO ring in the New Year

TORONTO, Dec. 30 - The McGuinty government is investing $50,000 to help attract visitors from southern Ontario and US border states to First Night® TORONTO, the city's New Year's entertainment extravaganza, Culture Minister Madeleine Meilleur announced today. "First Night® TORONTO will showcase our cultural diversity to visitors from near and far, and entice them to come back throughout the year to sample more of Toronto's offerings," said Meilleur. "Revitalizing cultural tourism in Ontario will help the province meet its economic priorities." Running from December 29 to 31 at SkyDome, First Night® TORONTO is the city's family-oriented, alcohol-free, multicultural New Year's festival, featuring 300 artists in over 100 performances. Organizers anticipate this year's additional support will boost attendance to between 25,000 and 35,000 people. The festival's marketing campaign includes partnerships with VIA Rail, TicketMaster, Marriott hotels through Jim Nesbitt, GO Transit, Hard Rock Café and Metroland News/City Parent Magazine through Judy Roscoe. "This new provincial support has been instrumental in helping us and our partners reach a broader audience outside the GTA, and bring more families together over the holidays to enjoy Canada's largest first night festival," said First Night® TORONTO's executive director, Jeffrey Latimer. The $50,000 grant is from the $5-million Cultural Tourism Marketing Fund, a special initiative to promote cultural tourism and help cultural organizations rebuild audiences and revenues. Disponible en français www.culture.gov.on.ca ---------------------For further information: Guy Lepage, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1689; Gary Wheeler, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8391