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Tourism Funding and Grant Opportunities

The Ontario and Federal governments offer a variety of funding opportunities that your organization may be eligible for. Below are current opportunities. Please pay attention to deadlines and click on the web links to access more information for each program. Should you have any questions about any of the following programs, please email Chatham-Kent Tourism.


Tourism Growth Program 

Virtual Information Sessions 

Information sessions will be held on the following dates (listed below). Sign up to attend and receive sign in credentials to learn more. 

The Tourism Growth Program is a key part of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. FedDev Ontario is delivering this program with our regional development agency (RDA) colleagues across Canada.

The program provides $108 million over three years to help Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations to grow and develop local tourism products and experiences that will position Canada as a destination of choice for domestic and international visitors.

Over $30 million is available to businesses and organizations in southern Ontario to develop tourism attractions and experiences that will draw people to our communities. About 15% of the investment will support Indigenous-led tourism initiatives. Learn more about eligibility by visiting the Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario.

The first intake is now open, and applications will be accepted until February 29, 2024, 8:59 pm Eastern Time. Indigenous applicants may submit their applications anytime by contacting them directly. 

We invite you to review the detailed application guide to learn more about eligibility requirements. Questions can be directed to our contact centre via telephone (1-866-593-5505) or email (

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • incorporated small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the tourism industry
  • Indigenous-owned businesses (including Indigenous sole proprietors) or Indigenous tourism organizations
  • not-for-profit organizations (including tourism associations and economic development organizations)
  • governments (municipal/provincial/territorial and related entities)

Eligible activities

Eligible projects should provide added value to existing activities in the tourism industry and focus on business and economic growth. Priority may be given to projects that:

  • support the Indigenous tourism industry
  • increase tourism benefits for communities by driving visitation from urban areas to rural areas
  • support economic, environmental and cultural sustainability
  • support active outdoor experiences
  • extend the tourism season (e.g., new or expanded tourism offerings outside of the traditional high season)
  • complement support provided through provincial programs

Financial assistance

  • For small- and medium-sized enterprises
    • contributions will normally be repayable
    • For not-for-profit organizations
    • contributions will normally be non-repayable

Other activities could be eligible. Please contact the team directly / consult How funding works for additional information on the types of project activities that could be supported and the program's funding parameters.

Digital Main Street 4.0

Digital Main Street 4.0 is now available. Apply now at the Digital Main Street Website.

The program assists Chatham-Kent brick and mortar businesses with expanding their digital footprint. This updated program is now available for any registered business in Chatham-Kent that is paying commercial taxes or rent to an entity that is, has between 1 and 50 employees, has not received the grant in the past, and has a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment.

The three components of the Digital Transformation Grant include support for small businesses to help them assess their digital needs, an online training course that equips business owners with the digital literacy skills needed to develop a Digital Transformation Plan, and the opportunity to receive a $2500 grant to assist with the execution of their plan.

If you need assistance or have questions, contact the Small Business Centre team at 1-866-542-5994 or email

Experience Ontario 2023

Check back in 2024 for a new application co-hort.

For information on the program, please see the Experience Ontario Application Guide.

The Ontario government has just announced the Experience Ontario 2023 program for festivals and events taking place between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024.

This year, the government is investing $19.5 million in one-time funding through the Experience Ontario 2023 program to provide support to in-person festivals and events with a tourism economic impact to motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, reconnect people with local experiences, and increase tourism spending. Applications will be measured against program criteria and, as such, there is no guarantee of funding.

Eligible organizations must:

  • Be Ontario-based entities in existence since January 1, 2022 or before, including those that are established by or under legislation; are federally or provincially incorporated; or are band councils as defined under the Indian Act
  • Not be in default of the terms and conditions of any grant or loan agreement with any ministry or agency of the Government of Ontario 5
  • Have a Canadian bank account in the legal name of the applicant at a Canadian financial institution conducting business in Ontario

Eligible Festivals or Events Festivals or events must meet all the following eligibility requirements:

  • Take place between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, over a minimum of two consecutive days*
  • Occur in the province of Ontario
  • Be open to the public at large without membership in a club or group
  • Be promoted to tourists (DEFINED AS as an individual (including an Ontario resident) who travels 40 kilometres or more (one-way) or crosses a border into Ontario to attend an event)
  • Follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines.

*One-day festivals or events held on Canada Day are eligible for funding.

Applicants are eligible to apply for a grant of up to 50% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $125,000.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport will only consider one application per organization to the Experience Ontario 2023 program or the Marquee Event Fund 2023.

Regional Advisors are available to assist with questions about the application process.

The application period is now open – applications will be accepted until April 28, 2023, at 5PM (EDT).

Experience Ontario Marquee Event Fund 

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Deadline: Applications are accepted on an on-going basis, but must be submitted at least four months before the event start date.

Description: The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports costs related to hosting:

  • major one-time events in Ontario
  • events that do not recur annually or biennially in Ontario
  • national or international events in Ontario