Driving innovation and growth:
- The Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF), delivered by regional development agencies across the country, is a two-year $58.5-million national program to help Canada’s tourism sector innovate and grow.
- FedDev Ontario has been allocated more than $11 million to deliver this Fund in southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario is looking for:
- Not-for-profit organizations operating in the tourism sector
- Incorporated businesses, including:
- Businesses and/or corporations
- Indigenous-owned businesses
Eligible projects will support the growth and diversification of the tourism sector. These activities may include:
- Product and service planning, development and implementation: designing new or improved tourism services and products (e.g., attraction, festival, tour);
- Market readiness training: working with tourism associations to provide market readiness training to business; and
- Creating or improving tourism facilities: physical assets used by tourists (e.g., trails, campgrounds, shelters).
Applications can be submitted for:
- Projects led by municipalities and/or not-for-profit organizations – up to 100 percent of eligible and supported costs per project. It is expected that projects will request between $25,000 and $500,000, however a maximum amount of $1 million per project could be provided.
- Projects led by incorporated businesses, including co-operatives and Indigenous-owned businesses – up to 50 percent of eligible and supported project costs, to a maximum of $100,000. Indigenous-owned businesses may be eligible for support of up to 100 percent of eligible and supported project costs.
- Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis during the life of the program, until available funds have been fully allocated. Priority will be given to applications received before May 31, 2019.
Funding is available for projects in the following priority areas:
- Tourism in rural and remote communities: Investments to help attract tourists to rural and remote destinations, such as destination development planning, adventure trails, improving public tourism facilities and community beautification.
- Indigenous tourism: Investments that increase Indigenous tourism revenue, such as market readiness training, festivals celebrating Indigenous heritage, culture and art, and interpretation guides and installations.
- Winter and shoulder season tourism: Investments to encourage tourism more evenly across the year, such as festivals, tours and excursions to see local attractions, wildlife and culture, and tourism facility improvements, such as signage, specialized accommodations, and facility planning and development.
- Inclusiveness: Investments to increase the number of participants in LGBTQ2+ tourism events, such as urban and/or local pride festivals, LGBTQ2+ market readiness and touristic art events.
- Farm-to-Table tourism/Culinary tourism: Investments to grow food and beverage spending by tourists, such as developing and marketing regional culinary tourism trails, developing and implementing food festivals and farmers’ markets, and developing new culinary products and services using local produce.
Project proposals that also meet asset criteria may be given preference. These criteria pertain to skills development, job creation, economic sustainability as well as environmental sustainability.