Ontario government giving $4.4M to help tourism industry, including 64K for Bench Brewing


The Ontario government is investing nearly $4.4 million to support the province's tourism industry, including $64,000 for a winter beer festival in Niagara.

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries made the announcement today saying the funding will help deliver innovative, safe experiences, like virtual festivals and events, and support tourism operators as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.  

$3.4 million will go towards supporting 27 local events and initiatives. 

These events are the first to be approved through the program, which was launched in October 2020. 

MacLeod along with Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, and Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton announced that Bench Brewing Company in Beamsville will receive over $64,000 for their event, Bench Winterfest.

"The pandemic continues to disproportionately impact tourism and culture – two major industries that normally connect us to each other and bring our communities to life," said Minister MacLeod.

This funding will support festival and event organizers as they adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings. 

 The Ontario government is also investing more than $912,000 in 14 initiatives through the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.

 The $1.5-million fund is an application-based, cost-sharing program designed to provide funding for projects that encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario's tourism industry.

 Applications are being accepted on an on-going basis.