As detailed in last week's newsletter, applicants to the Experience Ontario grant program administered by the Ontario government have started to receive notification of the status of their applications.
Unlike the increased financial envelopes during the pandemic period, the total amount of funding available was $19.5 million. TIAO understands that this year there were over 600 applicants with requests for funding totaling nearly three times the available funding.
TIAO is currently undertaking a survey in partnership with our colleagues at Festivals and Events Ontario and the Canadian Live Music Association. This survey intends to build a clearer picture of the results of the program and help shape our feedback back to government. So please, even if you were successful in your application, please take the survey here, so we can ensure we can build an accurate picture of the results of the program.
As many of you will know already, TIAO has been calling for a return to pre-pandemic timelines for festival and event grant funding. It is imperative that we get back to a system that gives the proper time needed for festivals and event planners to properly budget and plan for their events. TIAO has been assured by the government that this is a priority for them for next year's program and will work collaboratively with them to ensure this is delivered.
Thanks to the combined advocacy efforts of TIAO and our industry partners, the Ministry of Transportation has adjusted the timing of lane closures on the Burlington Skyway that was hampering the ability of visitors to travel to the Niagara region. The closures were originally set to start every Friday at 6:30 p.m. with full closures at 8:00 p.m. and now have been moved to 10 p.m. on Fridays to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. This will allow more time for visitors to finish work and travel to Niagara. We thank the Niagara Falls Canada Hotel Association, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association and our partners at the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport for their prompt collaboration in implementing an effective alternative solution. This will provide support for visitation during Niagara’s peak season and its first full year of tourism since 2019.
The deadline for submissions to the Federal pre-budget consultation period is fast approaching and in cooperation with TIAC, TIAO has put forward our own submission that builds upon national priorities and those recommendations found in TIAO’s ‘State of the Ontario Tourism Industry’ report. If you’re still intending to submit your own recommendations, you can do so by clicking here and the deadline is 23:59 EDT on August 4.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and of course please do contact the TIAO team if you have any questions or queries. Don’t forget, tickets are now available for the Ontario Tourism Summit in Mississauga this October, and you can buy your tickets here.
President & CEO, TIAO