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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 throughout the year. 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 us.

Regional Opportunities

NEW: Shoulder Season Safe Operations Program

Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) & Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

To be ready to apply, please make sure you have:

  • One document that includes all receipts you will be submitting.
  • Your government issued business or not-for-profit registration.

Please use PDF or Word and note the maximum size is 50 MB.

Applications: Now open on a first come, first served basis

Description: RT01 will reimburse eligible applicants $500 or $1000 (excluding tax) towards pandemic support over the shoulder season. Reimbursement for items that were purchased to meet safety requirements and allow for the safe operations of tourism businesses will be retroactive to January 1, 2021 (minimum reimbursement of $500 pre-tax).


Provincial Opportunities

If you are applying for funding through the Provincial Government, please note, you must have a Transfer Payment Ontario account. You can use Transfer Payment Ontario to:

  • register and apply for funding
  • get information about available funding opportunities
  • check the status of your active submissions for funding

NEW: Ontario Tourism Recovery Program

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Applications Open: October 13, 2021

Description: The Ontario Tourism Recovery Program supports businesses that have experienced a loss of at least 50- per cent of eligible revenue in 2020-2021 compared to 2019. Program funding will help successful applicants prepare to reopen safely, develop innovative tourism products, retain and create tourism jobs, and support tourism recovery.

Eligible accommodations* include 

  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Resorts
  • Hotels, motels, inns, and lodges
  • Hunting and fishing camps or lodges
  • Cottages and cabins
  • Campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks

Eligible attractions* include 

  • Farm-based tourist attractions
  • Amusement parks, theme parks, water parks and midway operators
  • Indoor and outdoor recreational attractions
  • Scenic/sightseeing tours
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums and eco- and nature centres
  • Museums, historic and heritage attractions
  • Indigenous attractions
  • Performing arts, music and entertainment venues
  • Cinemas (motion picture and video exhibition) 
  • Boat tours (including fishing charters)
  • Marinas
  • Convention and conference centres
  • Destination spas
  • Wineries, breweries and cideries
  • Distilleries
  • Golf Courses
  • Ski and snow attractions

*Not all accommodations and attractions are eligible. For a full list of eligible businesses, activities, and application details, visit the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program page here

 Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Deadline: Applications are accepted on an-ongoing basis.

Description: The Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund (TEDRF) is an application-based, cost-sharing program designed to provide non-capital funding to projects that either:

  • encourage the development of innovative new tourism products
  • support tourism investment
  • build the capacity of Ontario's tourism industry

The program also supports innovative tourism recovery projects aimed at increasing tourism within Ontario to address the reduction in global travel as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster

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

Federal Funding Opportunities

Tourism Relief Fund (TRF)

The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years, including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, this Fund will position Canada to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe by:

  • Empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors; and
  • Helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world.

In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is delivering TRF funding to local organizations.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED.

Who can apply?

Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as:

  • Businesses;
  • Not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations; and
  • Band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

To be considered eligible for this Fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience;
  • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores; or
  • Provide an anchor product or service in a destination.  

 What activities are supported?

Tourism Relief Fund projects will focus on:

  • Product development: For example, projects that enhance tourism experiences, help tourism businesses adapt to the "new normal" and modernize their offerings, and encourage the adoption of more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
  • Destination development: For example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium-to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.                                              

What kind of financial support is being provided?

Contributions to businesses will be either:

  • Non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50 percent of eligible costs; or
  • Fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75 percent of eligible costs.
  • Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions.
  • Project contribution amounts would not exceed $500,000. The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project.

*NOTE: A business cannot receive a combination of a non-repayable and a repayable contribution for the same project.

For full eligibility criteria and other information, please visit FedDev Ontario's TRF web page.

COVID-19 Notice: Please check before you visit, as some sites and activities may not be fully operational. Continue to follow the advice of CK Public Health, maintain physical distancing, wear a mask, and follow all provincial COVID-19 guidelines.