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Investing in Festivals and Events to Boost Tourism Across Ontario

News Release

Investing in Festivals and Events to Boost Tourism Across Ontario

Province’s Support for 304 Events Will Create Jobs, Grow Local Economies

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario is supporting a record number of festivals and events this year to showcase the province as a vibrant place to live and visit during Ontario's 150th anniversary.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, was at Mills Hardware in Hamilton today to make the announcement with Supercrawl, a three-day arts and music street festival that takes place in Hamilton's downtown core in September. Supercrawl is receiving funding from the Celebrate Ontario program that will help expand the festival with stage enhancements, a local artist submission program and new eating areas. This support will also help expand research and marketing initiatives to increase attendance and attract more tourists to the festival.

The province is supporting 304 festivals and events that celebrate Ontario's diversity, heritage and culture. This support allows festival and event organizers to enhance their programming, activities and services so that they can draw more tourists and create jobs in communities across the province.

The program is also recognizing the importance of rural and northern festivals and events across Ontario, which play a vital role in local economies. This year, 126 distinct festivals and events receiving support will take place in rural or northern areas, and will showcase the diverse traditions that make these communities so unique.

Investing in local festivals and events is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing more than $19 million in the Celebrate Ontario program to support 304 festivals and events, the highest number in the history of the program.
  • Every year, festivals and events support tens of thousands of jobs in Ontario and generate millions of dollars in revenue.
  • Past recipients’ data shows that every $1 of Celebrate Ontario funding triggers almost $20 of visitor expenditures.
  • Ontario is also supporting more than 360 exciting local initiatives through the Ontario150 Community Celebration Program that will bring communities together to celebrate the province’s 150th anniversary.
  • As part of the commitment made in Ontario’s Tourism Action Plan, the government improved the Celebrate Ontario program to further streamline the application process, focus on results and improve alignment to better support communities across Ontario.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Eleanor McMahon

“Festivals and events bring local communities together, commemorate our heritage and celebrate the vibrancy of our province, which is especially important as we celebrate Ontario’s 150th anniversary this year. I am thrilled that our government continues to make important investments through the Celebrate Ontario program that create good local jobs and draw people from around the world to discover all that our province has to offer.”

Eleanor McMahon

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Many event organizers are enhancing programs to their festivals and events this year in celebration of Ontario's 150th birthday. Support from the province through Celebrate Ontario provides festivals and events with the ability to continue to provide exciting ways for visitors and residents to experience Ontario. Festivals and events are a major contributor to the economy in Ontario. With hundreds of festivals taking place, they not only drive tourism but support tens of thousands of jobs each year.”

Kathrin Delutis

Chief Executive Officer, Festivals and Events Ontario

“Celebrate Ontario is a critical piece of funding for Supercrawl. With the support of the province, we are able to program the festival at a high level, offering an exceptional tourist experience to visitors from across Ontario and beyond our borders. This important funding also enables us to attract private partners that allow us to become a self-sustaining organization.”

Tim Potocic

Festival Director, Supercrawl

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