Experience Ontario 2023 Program: $19.5M Funding Support for In-Person Festivals and Events

With a fast-approaching deadline of April 28, 2023, the newly announced Experience Ontario 2023 Program is investing $19.5 million in Ontario’s festival and event organizers to deliver programming that attracts visitors, boosts local and regional economies, and celebrates diverse cultures and identities across the province. 

The Experience Ontario 2023 Program supports Ontario festivals and events occurring between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, with grant funding up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $125,000 per applicant. 

Funding Snapshot: Experience Ontario 2023 Program 

Reworking the Celebrate Ontario program, the Experience Ontario 2023 Program will invest $19.5 million in one-time funding to support in-person festivals and events that will have a positive economic impact and increase tourism spending across Ontario. 

Funding Amount 

Non-repayable funding up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $125,000. 

Eligible Applicants 

  • Be Ontario-based entities in existence since January 2022 or before; and 
  • Have a Canadian bank account in the legal name of the applicant at a Canadian financial institution conducting business in Ontario. 

Eligible Projects  

An applicant’s festival or event must meet all the following requirements: 

  • Take place between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, over a minimum of 2 days (one day events held on Canada Day are eligible); 
  • Occur in Ontario; 
  • Be open to the public at large without membership in a club or group; 
  • Be promoted to tourists; and 
  • Follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines. 

Project Priorities 

  • Offer programming that encourages people to travel, experience events in person and celebrate Ontario; 
  • Draw tourists and increase visitor spending through innovative programming in partnership with businesses and community partners; 
  • Provide job opportunities for Ontarians in the tourism, culture, and entertainment sectors; and 
  • Increase Ontario’s profile through media, social media, or broadcast exposure. 


The application deadline is Friday, April 28, 2023. 

Please note that Experience Ontario 2023 is a highly competitive program and applications will be measured against criteria and other submissions. There is no guarantee of funding. 

Government Grants for Ontario Businesses 

If your Ontario business is interested in learning more about the Experience Ontario 2023 Program, please contact the Mentor Works, a Ryan company, team to support your funding application process from eligibility verification to grant writing support.  

To learn about more active programs supporting businesses located in Ontario, visit our Ontario Grants and Funding Directory for a list of programs serving various industries and supporting many different project types.  

Not sure about where to begin? Sign up for a free upcoming webinar to learn more about top funding programs currently available that your business may be eligible for.  

Register for A Canadian Government Funding Webinar 


    1. Hi Dennis! Thank you for your interest. You can join our newsletter here and stay up to date on funding updates. We send out a curated list of blogs, webinars, and funding programs every Monday.

      We hope this helps!

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