York Region Tourism Fund

Discover the opportunity to bring your community-based tourism initiatives to life with the York Region Tourism Fund. Launched in 2022, this fund is dedicated to enhancing the cultural, artistic, and tourism landscape of York Region by supporting innovative projects that invite both locals and visitors to engage deeply with the area’s rich offerings. With a focus on events, product packages, and thematic campaigns that highlight the best of York Region’s arts and culture, eligible organizations can receive up to $5,000 (CAD) in funding.

This unique opportunity is open to registered charities, non-profits, and a variety of community organizations who are ready to make a significant impact on York Region’s tourism sector. Whether you represent a local municipality, a business improvement area, a chamber of commerce, or an arts association, your project could be the next to benefit from this vital support.

To qualify, your project must be delivered within the funding term of March to December 2024, comply with all relevant laws and regulations, and demonstrate a clear benefit to the Region’s residents and business communities. Collaborative efforts are highly encouraged, allowing for a diverse range of projects that leverage the strengths and resources of multiple organizations.

Ineligible for funding are for-profit entities, political organizations, and projects focused on overhead costs or property purchases. Instead, the fund prioritizes direct personnel and project-related expenses, aiming to ensure that each dollar contributes to the vibrant tapestry of York Region’s tourism experience.

Ready to contribute to the flourishing of York Region’s cultural and tourism scene? Prepare your proposal to showcase how your project aligns with the fund’s objectives and submit your application to be part of this exciting journey towards a more connected and vibrant community. For detailed application guidelines and to start your application process, please refer to the full York Region Tourism Fund application guidelines document.

Government of Ontario: Experience Ontario 2024

​​The Province of Ontario is pleased to announce the launch of the Experience Ontario 2024 program. Ontario is investing $19.5 million to provide funding to eligible in person festivals and events taking place between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025.

Festival and event organizers continue to develop and deliver exciting programming in communities across the province. Your many efforts attract visitors to explore all that Ontario has to offer, boosting local and regional economies while celebrating the diverse identities and cultures that make our province a special place to live, work and play.

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

Information about how to apply is available at Ontario.ca and this YouTube instructional video here

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

 Applications will be accepted until January 11, 2024, at 5 p.m. (EST).

The application period is now closed.

Government of Canada: Tourism Growth Program

The Federal Government launched a new Tourism Growth Program, which will invest $108 million, over 3 years, to support communities, small- and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profit organizations develop local tourism products and experiences across the country, with approximately 15% of the funding dedicated to Indigenous-led initiatives. Eligible applicants can apply for up to 50% of total project expenses, to a maximum of $250,000 per project. Funding is normally provided in the form of a non-repayable contribution for not-for-profit organizations, and in the form of a fully repayable, interest-free contribution for businesses.

Project start and end dates may vary by project but cannot begin prior to March 29, 2023, and must be completed by no later than March 31, 2026. Priority may be given to projects where activities and funding take place between November 20, 2023, and March 31, 2024.

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

Virtual Information Sessions

The Tourism Growth Program is being delivered, in Ontario, by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) with virtual information sessions being held on:

December 4, 2023 | 2:30pm – 3:30pm (English)
December 7, 2023 | 10:30am – 11:30am (English)
December 8, 2023 | 10:30am – 11:30am (French)

Visit the FedDev Ontario website for full program details and register for one of the above information sessions to learn more.

Deadline to apply is February 29, 2024.

The application period is now closed.

Central Counties Tourism (CCT): 2024-25 Partnership Opportunities Program

Tourism is about getting people to spend money in a community where they neither work nor live. To be good at it, many businesses have to provide exceptional experiences that motivate people to visit and, more importantly, ensure they return and tell their friends to visit.

Central Counties Tourism’s mandate is to help businesses build their capacity to be successful at growing the visitor economy which, in turn, creates vibrant communities and compelling destinations.  As such, the CCT Partnership Program is designed to support businesses and organizations dedicated to growing the visitor economy. To that end, we are challenging every organization entering into a partnership to determine how they will work with others to encourage increased length of visit and money spent.

New for 2024-2025

1. Three priority streams for partnership support:

  • Out-of-Region Marketing
  • Multi-Stakeholder Development Initiatives
  • Destination Development

2. Two intake periods to support projects occurring between April 1, 2024 and March 31, 2025. Applications will be accepted beginning February 1, 2024 with the following intake deadlines:

  • 1st intake deadline: March 15, 2024 at 3pm
  • 2nd intake deadline: September 13, 2024 at 3pm

3. Only one application per stream per tourism business/organization.

  • Multiple projects can be supported through the Partnership Program, however, only one application can be submitted, per stream, outlining the various projects.

4. Social Media Marketing Program Learning Lab is a pre-requisite.

  • At least one member of the applicant business/organization is required to complete the Social Media Marketing Program, in addition to the previously required Tourism Ambassador Program, offered through the Central Counties Learning Lab.

5. All applicants MUST be registered with Central Counties Tourism.

  • A link to your tourism business/organization’s profile will need to be included in your application.

Full program details available here

Getting Started

Ahead of submitting your application, please ensure you connect with your region’s Industry Relations Manager to discuss your project:

YORK: Sara Sterling, ssterling@centralcounties.ca
DURHAM: Lisa John-Mackenzie, ljohn-mackenzie@centralcounties.ca
HEADWATERS: Sarah Gratta, sgratta@centralcounties.ca

Application portal opens February 1, 2024.

The application period is now closed.
Please note: Our Partnership Program is a highly competitive program with no guarantee of funding.

Destination Markham Corporation Annual Partnership Support Program

Destination Markham Corporation’s (DMC) purpose is to promote Markham as a remarkable destination for visitors, including tourists, sports and festival attendees, meetings, conference delegates, and business travellers. The key tourism objectives are to research, develop, market, and grow Markham’s visitor economy. This initiative will collaborate with the hotel industry, festival-event- conference-travel planners, attraction operators, cultural institutions, sports tourism promoters, entertainment and recreation providers, food service businesses, and the City of Markham.

The 2024 Partnership Support Program Funding is currently accepting applications for the period of June to December 2024.
Deadline to apply is April 30th, 2024.

Destination Markham is willing to assist Markham-based businesses with reviewing completed grants before submitting, as time permits.

Randy Snape
Manager, Stakeholder Relations & Marketing