The City of Quinte West, Ontario will receive a substantial grant from the federal government under the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) to support a local tourism initiative. The city will use the funds to complete much-needed improvements to the Ontario Street boat launch in the town of Trenton, in order to make the launch more appealing and user-friendly.
The $200K investment from the Government of Canada will contribute to the tourism draw of the Town of Trenton, which is the gateway to the most-fished water system in the province.
The city applied for CEF tourism grants in May of this year and was approved by the program in August. City council agreed to accept the funding in November.
CEF, which opened in the spring of 2019, was managed by Canada’s six Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), which support economic development in their local areas. In southern Ontario, CEF was administered by FedDev Ontario, which works closely with businesses and innovators to fuel economic growth and create jobs in the province.
Government Grants for Tourism Support One of the World’s Greatest Trips
The city’s tourism is based around its outdoor attractions, including the Trent-Severn Waterway, a 386-km canal system that took 87 years to build, beginning in 1833.
Journeying the waterway has been described by National Geographic as one of the 500 greatest trips in the world, and the Trent-Severn is used by thousands of boaters each year.
The upgrades to the boat launch on the Trent River will therefore provide a beautiful and functional gateway to the waterway and support local tourism.
The city will use the government grants for tourism to remove existing launch ramps, docks, access ramps, and foundations; excavate to increase the slope of the ramp; install new launch ramps, new concrete, and floating docks; and repair the nearby parking lot.
Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison said, “We want to do what we can to make it not just attractive, but a safer and more user-friendly boat launch” (InQuinte.ca).
Funding for Canadian Municipalities, NFPs, and Businesses
The federal government created the Canadian Experiences Fund to provide tourism grants to support growth and diversification projects, focusing on specific priorities: winter and shoulder-season tourism; Indigenous tourism projects; inclusiveness, especially for the LGBTQ2 communities; tourism in rural and remote communities; and farm-to-table tourism.
CEF was administered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies. While intake for CEF is now closed, these development agencies offer numerous other funding programs.
For example, FedDev Ontario offers government funding in Southern Ontario for companies through its Business Scale-Up & Productivity program; for non-profits through its Regional Innovation Ecosystem; and for both non-profits and for-profits through its Community Economic Development & Diversification program.
The Canadian Experiences Fund is one of the many tourism funding programs available. To learn more about project financing options, please download the Types of Government Funding slide deck.