The province has announced further financial support for Ontario’s tourism sector Thursday, including for organizations and businesses that are pivoting and holding virtual festivals and drive-thru events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While at Lincoln Town Hall in Beamsville Thursday afternoon, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Minister Lisa MacLeod announced Bench Brewing Co. will receive more than $64,000 in funding from the province’s Reconnect Festival and Event Program to aid the brewery’s Winterfest.
That followed a virtual press conference earlier in the day, when she announced nearly $4.4 million is going towards long-term sustainability of the province’s “vital” tourism industry, including $912,000 towards the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.
“We’ve approved 14 initiatives to encourage development of innovative, new tourism products that support tourism investments and builds capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry,” she said, adding the announcement is about “reconnecting and recovering in a safe and sustainable way.”
MacLeod said the government is providing two advocacy groups — Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association — with $245,000 and $189,000, respectively, “so that they can best serve their members and encourage free membership so that there is mentorship, there is product development, and there is support for these businesses on the ground, right across Ontario.”