May 28, 2019 – The federal government recently unveiled a comprehensive tourism strategy. Taking a whole-of-government approach, the strategy acknowledges the contribution of festivals and performing arts organizations in realizing Canada’s full tourism potential.
Arts presentation and creative export acknowledged in the tourism strategy
As requested in CAPACOA’s brief on tourism, the strategy identifies the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage as key programs in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. Both programs are listed in the “empowering Canadian communities to develop tourism experience” section of the strategy and the investments of the 2019 federal budget are explicitly mentioned as allocations supporting the strategy. As a reminder, the 2019 federal budget committed $16 million over two years to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund and $24 million over two years to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program.
The Creative Export Strategy is also identified as a contributor to the tourism strategy, under “Supporting Businesses and Empowering the Tourism Workforce”.
A new Canadian Experiences Fund
One of the key elements of the tourism strategy is the new Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF), a $58.5 million investment over two years. The CEF will enhance Canada’s tourism products and experiences across five focus areas:
- winter and shoulder-season tourism;
- Indigenous tourism;
- inclusiveness, especially for the LGBTQ2 community;
- rural and remote communities; and
- farm-to-table, also known as culinary tourism.
The CEF will be delivered through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies and not-for-profit organizations will be eligible. Eligible projects will support the growth and diversification of the tourism sector. These activities may include:
- Planning and development of tourism products and services: improving or designing new tourism services and products such as tours, special events and festivals
- Market readiness training: working with tourism associations to provide training to businesses to market their products, adopt foreign payment systems, manage cultural differences, etc.; and
- Creating or improving tourism facilities: physical assets used by tourists such as trails, campgrounds, and shelters.
Any arts organization who fits any of the Fund’s five focus areas should connect with local or regional tourism partners and explore options for a joint or solo application.
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