Several Popular Festivals, Events Get Funding Boost From Province

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The Ontario government is investing nearly $50 million to help festival and event organizers deliver innovative and safe experiences that allow people to safely reconnect with their communities. This one-time funding increase will ensure the long-term success of the festival and event sector.

The government is providing $43 million to support 439 festivals and events through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, representing a record number of supported events in the program’s 14-year history. The Reconnect program (known as Celebrate Ontario prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) was developed to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings.

​This investment also includes $6 million to Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster events which supports municipalities and organizations to host large-scale, high-impact signature events that draw significant tourist attendance and increase tourist spending. It is estimated that the impact of the 2021/22 Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster and Reconnect Festival & Event Program investment will generate over $1 billion in economic benefit across the province.

“The Reconnect Festival and Event Program has been an integral part of our industry’s ability to adjust to operating and innovating in a pandemic setting. In supporting existing events and helping to found new ones, this program is not only protecting Ontarians’ jobs, but also driving interest for visitors to return to Ontario to reconnect and experience what our communities have to offer. The increased funding envelope announced today will help protect our double bottom line, and TIAO is excited to experience the festivals and events that are supported through this program. We thank Minister Lisa MacLeod for her unwavering commitment and dedication to our industry in these unprecedented times as we encourage Ontarians to rediscover Ontario.”

– Chris Bloore
President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

For more information on the program and to see recipients, please click here.

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