Celebrate Ontario Awards $300k in Tourism Grants to Chatham-Kent Expo

Celebrate Ontario Government Funding for Festivals and Events

Earlier this year, Celebrate Ontario 2018 announced over $20M in government funding for tourism initiatives to 328 festivals and events. This was the largest number of festivals and events supported in the history of the program. The municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario is hosting one of these awarded festivals, and received tourism grants for the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo.

The Ontario government funding program Celebrate Ontario has provided $297,850 in event funding for the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo.

Celebrate Ontario is an Ontario government grant intended to offset a portion of costs related to hosting large-scale events which increase tourism. Each year, the Province supports first-time and recurring events that demonstrate the ability to draw attendees from inside and outside Ontario. The program’s support for the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo will help enhance the festival’s entertainment schedule by adding activities like attempting to break world records and bringing in more music acts.

$300k in Event Funding Awarded to Plowing Match and Rural Expo

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo is a five-day agricultural festivity featuring plowing, live music acts, performers, displays, education, demonstrations, and much more. Some of this year’s popular attractions include the Team Farmall Dancing Tractors, Canadian Cowgirls Precision Drill Team, a rodeo, and Canadian Celtic rock artists MUDMEN. The Plowing Match has also been added to Festival and Events Ontario’s top 100 festivals and events list for 2018.

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Chatham-Kent will receive $297,850 in event funding from Celebrate Ontario 2018.

The funding from Celebrate Ontario will go towards the upgrading and addition of activities and events to attract more people to the festival. The Plowing Match will be attempting to break several world records, including the largest Egg and Spoon Race and Largest Sugar Cube Structure. The tourism grants will also help increase the entertainment list to over 50 acts.

Celebrate Ontario: Government Funding for Tourism Initiatives

Celebrate Ontario is an annual provincial government grant for tourism that helps Ontario festivals and events expand their geographic reach and enhance and sustain their programs, services, and activities. The program provides event funding to make it easier for organizers to improve and deliver new experiences that attract additional tourists from inside and outside of Ontario to increase visitor spending.

The program provides up to 25% coverage to a maximum $150,000 in funding for new events and up to 50% coverage to a maximum $300,000 in funding for existing events.

Celebrate Ontario has three streams providing tourism grants:

  • Celebrate Ontario Single Year: This stream supports new or existing tourism events with marketing initiatives and program enhancements that increase tourist visitation and spending, leading to improved festival sustainability.
  • Celebrate Ontario Multi Year: This stream supports new or existing tourism events with marketing initiatives and program enhancements that increase tourist visitation and spending, leading to improved festival sustainability. Only tourism events with cash operating expenses of at least $1 million may apply.
  • Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster: This stream supports bidding and hosting costs for major one-time events, or events that do not recur annually in Ontario, but are hosted by venues nationally and internationally.

Application intake for Celebrate Ontario 2018 is now closed. Information for Celebrate Ontario 2019 will be available in early October 2018.

Ontario organizations interested in being notified when the Celebrate Ontario 2019 application intake is open are encouraged to register for Mentor Works’ Weekly Funding Newsletter.

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