MPP Thompson announces new funding for festivals and events

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Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson encourages organizers of local festivals and events to apply for the provincial government’s new Reconnect Ontario Fund.

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The province is investing $20 million to provide support to municipalities and festival and event organizers who are creating innovative ways to help Ontarians reconnect with their communities once it is safe to do so.

“While we have all been affected by the pandemic, tourism, sporting and cultural events have been particularly affected,” said Thompson. “That’s why this program is important to help them continue to operate and celebrate with the community.”

Funding can be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile app and website development, and implementing health and safety measures.

Thompson said by providing continued support for festivals and events through the Reconnect Ontario program, the province is giving a much-needed boost to help maximize the growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s tourism sector. Ontario as it begins to recover from the ongoing economic and societal effects of COVID-19[FEMININE

The program aims to support innovative events in Ontario that:

-provide safe experiences that encourage people to travel locally, participate and rediscover the beauty and diversity of all Ontario communities have to offer

-attract local tourists and visitors, in person or virtually, through innovative programming, and generate positive economic impact for the local community, region and province

-provide employment opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors

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Ongoing investments through Reconnect Ontario will provide critical support to ensure the long-term success of the province’s festivals and events sector, while helping organizers deliver safe and innovative experiences that allow people to reconnect with their communities, Thompson said, adding that before the pandemic, every dollar of provincial funding invested through Celebrate Ontario (the Reconnect Ontario program model) generated nearly $21 in visitor spending.

To be eligible, an event must:

– take place between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

– take place in the province of Ontario (if an in-person event) or be produced in Ontario (if a broadcast or virtual event).

-be open to the general public without belonging to a club or group.

-follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines.

“It’s a short window to apply, which is why I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention,” Thompson said.

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