MPP announces new funding for festivals and events – short window to deadline

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is encouraging local festival and event organizers to apply for the provincial government’s newly announced Reconnect Ontario fund.
The province is investing $20 million to provide support to municipalities and festival and event organizers that are creating innovative ways to help Ontarians reconnect with their communities once it is safe to do so.
“While we all have been impacted by the pandemic, tourism, sporting and cultural events have been especially hit hard,” Thompson said. “That’s why this program is important to help them continue to operate and celebrate together with the community.”
Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.
Thompson said that by providing continuing support to festivals and events through the Reconnect Ontario program, the province is delivering a much-needed boost to help maximize the growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s tourism sector as it begins to recover from the ongoing economic and societal effects of COVID-19.
The program aims to support innovative events in Ontario that will:
  • offer safe experiences that encourage people to travel locally, participate and rediscover the beauty and diversity of all that Ontario communities have to offer
  • draw tourists and local visitors, whether in-person or virtually, through innovative programming, and generate positive economic impact for the local community, the region and the province
  •  provide job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors
Continued investments through Reconnect Ontario will provide vital support to ensure the long-term success of the province’s festival and event sector, while helping organizers deliver safe, innovative experiences that allow people to reconnect with their communities, Thompson said, adding that prior to the pandemic, every $1 of provincial funding invested through Celebrate Ontario (the model for the Reconnect Ontario program) resulted in almost $21 of visitor spending.
To be eligible, an event must:
  •  take place between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
  • occur in the province of Ontario (if an in-person event) or be produced in Ontario (if a broadcast or virtual event).
  • be open to the public at large without membership in a club or group.
  •  follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines.
Program guidelines and application form can be found online at The 2022 application period is now open, and applications will be accepted until Feb. 2, 2022 at 5 p.m. EST.
“This is a short window to apply, that’s why I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention,” Thompson said.