Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker has announced that two local festivals will receive a combined $37,685 in funding from the provincial government.
The Ontario government is investing nearly $50 million to support 439 festivals and events across Ontario through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, as well as support to events through the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Program.
This one-time funding increase for festivals and events – more than double the annual funding provided to the sector in the past – will ensure the long-term success of the festival and event sector while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences, whether virtually or in-person, that allow people to safely reconnect with their communities.
Walker announced that the following local events are receiving funding support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program:
- City of Owen Sound – Music at the Market – $10,000
- Paisley Blues Festival – Summer Series of Live Music – $27,685
“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 Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Increasing our annual support for festivals 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.”
The Reconnect Festival and Event Program was developed to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings. The program directs support to events with innovative and safe experiences, while creating opportunities that encourage Ontarians to reconnect with the beauty and diversity of their communities in new ways.
The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports municipalities and organizations in Ontario that host large-scale, high-impact signature events that draw significant tourist attendance and increase tourist spending, increase Ontario’s profile through media and broadcast exposure and provide significant economic impact and legacy development for the province.
“Festivals and events like the Paisley Blues Festival and Music at the Market make important contributions to our communities creating local jobs and boosting the local economy,” said Walker. “I’m pleased the government is making this important investment through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, giving us all the opportunity to experience what Ontario has to offer right in our own backyard.”