(CelebrityAccess) — The government of Ontario announced it plans to invest an additional $50 million to help festival and event producers in the province to recover from the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The one-time funding increase, more than double the annual funding provided to the festival and event sector in the past, includes $43 million to support 439 festivals and events through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, the largest number of recipients in the program’s history.
The new funding was announced during a press conference by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, who was joined by Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, City of Toronto.
“For more than a year, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture – two major industries that bring people together and our communities to life,” said Minister MacLeod. “Increasing our annual support for festival and events will give the sector a much-needed boost as we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19. Our government is supporting organizations that are finding new ways to safely engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs.”
This investment also includes $6 million dedicated to funding large-scale “high-impact” events that attract significant tourist attendance, driving economic impact for the prinvnce.
“This is an important investment for the tourism and culture sector in municipalities across Ontario that have been devastated by the pandemic. The support by the government of Ontario through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program is allowing communities and the businesses that rely on them to get back to rebound, and soon thrive,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.