Celebrate Ontario government grants provide funding to festivals and events across the province. Since 2006, the event funding program has helped organizers enhance their product and attract larger audiences, which in turn boosts tourism in Ontario. Some well-known events that have received grants through Celebrate Ontario include the Shaw Festival, Canadian Music Week, Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival, and Toronto’s Festival of Beer.
Celebrate Ontario 2017, this year’s version of the funding program, has recently launched and is now accepting grant applications. Organizations hosting tourism events from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 may apply for up to $25,000-$300,000, depending on the scale and legacy of the event.
Applications for Celebrate Ontario 2017 must be submitted by November 8, 2016 at 5:00pm. To learn if your event is a good fit for Celebrate Ontario funding, consider the following details.
Celebrate Ontario 2017 Funding Program Details
Celebrate Ontario 2017 was built on the success of last year’s grant program, which successfully funded hundreds of tourism-generating events across the province. The program offers assistance to new and existing events, with various amounts of funding available to expand the budgets of all event sizes.
New Tourism-Generating Events
One-time or first-time events may receive up to 25% of its total cash operating expenses. Budgets with operating expenses:
- Less than $250,000 may receive up to $25,000.
- Greater than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000 may receive up to $50,000.
- Greater than $1,000,000 may receive up to $150,000
Existing Tourism-Generating Events
Recurring events, or events that have been offered in the past may receive up to 50% of enhancement (budget expansion) costs, or up to 25% of its total cash operating expenses, whichever is less. Budgets with operating expenses:
- Less than $250,000 may receive up to $50,000.
- Greater than $250,000 but less than $1,000,000 may receive up to $100,000.
- Greater than $1,000,000 may receive up to $300,000 for a single year of funding, or $275,000 annually for up to two years if the event will continue to recur.
Celebrate Ontario 2017 Program Updates
This year’s Celebrate Ontario grants program includes a number of key improvements that will help events become even more successful. Some of these updates include:
- Existing events applying for project enhancement funds may now include marketing expenses in their submission. Marketing and promotion costs may form up to 15% of the project budget submitted for Celebrate Ontario funding.
- Existing Ontario tourism events with budgets in excess of $1 million may receive event funding for the next two years. Up to $275,000 may be awarded for each year, and applicants do not need to re-apply for the grant to receive the grant in 2018.
- Existing events hosted between April 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 may be given funding priority if the enhancement celebrates or commemorates Ontario or Canada’s 150th year celebration.
- All events hosted in rural or northern Ontario may be given funding priority.
Events Eligible to Receive Celebrate Ontario Grants
To receive Celebrate Ontario tourism event grants, hosts must ensure that their project is:
- Facilitated within Ontario;
- Hosted between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018;
- Organized by a legal entity; and
- Open to the general public without club/group membership.
Celebrate Ontario Event Funding Priority
Priority will be given to events demonstrating a positive impact on tourism by:
- Strengthening Ontario’s tourism brand image throughout Canadian and international markets;
- Increasing the amount of overnight visitors who require lodging and other services as part of their event experience;
- Attracting out-of-province or international visitors;
- Increasing the event’s attendance; and
- Increasing visitor expenditures while attending the event.
Celebrate Ontario Event Grants: Applicant Eligibility
Organizations may apply for Celebrate Ontario 2017 event grants if they:
- Are federally or provincially incorporated;
- Operate within the Province of Ontario; and
- Are for-profit, non-profit, municipalities, or an Aboriginal organization.
How to Apply for Celebrate Ontario 2017
Applications for Celebrate Ontario 2017 are due November 8, 2016 at 5:00pm, however potential applicants should begin the process now to ensure they submit the required documentation on time. Extensive details about the event’s operations, budget, and project management team are required as part of this submission.
If you would like do discuss the eligibility or funding potential of your tourism-generating event, please contact Mentor Works. Upon the verification on your event’s eligibility, we can also provide comprehensive assistance through the entire application process, including collecting required details and writing your application to highlight how it meet’s the program’s objectives.
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