Program offers grants and mentorships to “Spark” new sustainable tourism ideas for Bruce County

A fourth round of the “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program has been launched to encourage Bruce County entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations to create new sustainable tourism ideas for the region.

The program provides selected applicants with a $3,000 grant, mentorship, and additional partner support to help get them started. Previous Bruce County participants were selected for forest bathing experiences, guided land-based and on-water ecotours, Indigenous tourism experiences, wellness retreats, transparent kayak adventures, dog-sledding tours, and winter glamping retreats.

Organizers are looking for sustainable tourism ideas that will enhance Bruce County’s current tourism offerings, create high-quality, low impact tourism experiences, address gaps in tourism products and services, motivate longer stays and repeat visits, and increase shoulder season visits and tourism spending.

The Bruce County “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program is a partnership between Bruce County, Bruce Power, Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), and the Tourism Innovation Lab.

“Bruce County is proud to offer mentorship and grants to innovative entrepreneurs thanks to “Spark”. Bruce County’s Spark project aims to encourage entrepreneurs who want to offer sustainable tourism experiences,” says Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson.

“Bruce Power is pleased to support the goals of the “Spark” Mentorship and Grants program,” said John Peevers, Bruce Power’s Director of Community and Media Relations, and Economic Development. “Innovation is a part of our company culture and this program aligns with our approach to acknowledging and rewarding the development of new ideas in this changing landscape that will promote economic growth in our community.”

“RTO7 is pleased to continue to partner on the launch of the 4th Edition of the Bruce County Innovation Lab. We feel that this program creates a fantastic support system for people with new and innovative ideas that help build a sustainable tourism industry,” said Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7.

“We are inspired by the creativity and innovative spirit of our past Bruce County “Spark” Program winners, and are excited to expand the program this year across Bruce County,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab.

Applications will be accepted from September 13 to October 20, 2022. Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.

For more information on the Bruce County “Spark” Program and to register for an upcoming Info Session visit www.tourisminnovation.ca/bruce.