QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario’s government for the people is working to create jobs and drive local tourism by investing more than $13 million in over 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, with an additional $4 million in funding for Blockbuster events.
Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, was joined by Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington, at the Royal Botanical Gardens to announce funding for Celebrate Ontario 2019. Locally, this program is supporting the South Mountain Fair, hosted by the Mountain Township Agricultural Society, Aug. 15 to Aug. 18, in the Township of North Dundas. Celebrate Ontario will be providing $44,700 to the society.
Celebrate Ontario supports local festivals and events of all sizes to reach new audiences, improve the programs for visitors, benefit local economies, and create new jobs. Every dollar invested through Celebrate Ontario results in almost $21 of visitor spending.
“Ontario is open for business and open for jobs. By investing in festivals and events, our government is tapping into the economic potential of the tourism industry,” said Minister Tibollo. “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.”
The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster category encourages the attraction and hosting of major one-time, or infrequently recurring, national and international events in Ontario.
“We are just ecstatic!” said Anna Smail, 2nd vice-president of the South Mountain Fair in the riding of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry (SDSG). “The funds will help us as we strive for the biggest and best fair possible, especially with our new escape room.”
“Through Celebrate Ontario, we are making strategic investments to support festivals and events across the province,” said SDSG MPP Jim McDonell. “This program sends a message that we are backing our great local festivals and ensuring Ontario is open for business.”
- The government will invest approximately $40,000 in the Telling Tales Festival as a part of the Celebrate Ontario program.
- Tourism supports nearly 390,000 jobs and generates over $34 billion of economic activity in Ontario.
- The tourism industry is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.
- The province’s tourism sector has experienced year-on-year increases in visitor spending of nearly six percent.