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Celebrate Ontario 2017


The Celebrate Ontario 2017 program is open and receiving applications through the Grants Ontario System.

What’s New for Celebrate Ontario 2017?

    • Existing large events with cash operating expenses in excess of $1 million may apply for multi-year (two-year) funding (fiscal year 2017-18 and fiscal year 2018-19) under the Celebrate Ontario 2017 Multi-Year category. Only one application needs to be submitted for both years, but it must include details for the first year’s and second year’s enhancements, performance metrics, and financial activities.

    • Applicants may include a request for marketing as an eligible expense for the Celebrate Ontario 2017 program. Applicants may apply for marketing costs associated with their enhancement project (if the enhancement project lends itself to marketing), the event itself, or both. The marketing request must remain consistent with the organization’s overall marketing plan.

    • Celebrate Ontario 2017 program funding support for eligible marketing expenses cannot exceed 15 per cent of the total Celebrate Ontario 2017 eligible program funding request.

    • Marketing funding will only be provided for marketing initiatives targeting tourists staying overnight who are in-province (Ontario overnight audiences at least 100 kilometres from the event), or out-of-province overnight audiences beyond Ontario (e.g., other parts of Canada, the United States, international).

    • Applicants are invited to consider Canada’s 150th in their planning. For events occurring between April 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, organizers might consider an enhancement activity that celebrates or commemorates Canada’s 150th ─ the anniversary of Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867, which established the Confederation of Canada.

    • Applicants are asked to identify the target sector of their event, if applicable. New this year is the opportunity to identify rural or northern events, given their significance to local economies.

The Celebrate Ontario 2017 program comprises three categories:

    Celebrate Ontario 2017 and Celebrate Ontario 2017 Multi-Year provide project-based programming and marketing funding to new or existing Ontario events to enhance programs, activities and services and support innovations that will lead to long-term improvements, sustainability and the attraction of additional tourists. Existing large events with cash capital operating expenses in excess of $1 million can apply for multi-year (two-year) funding for fiscal year 2017-18 and fiscal year 2018-19. Applicants must demonstrate how their event will:

o increase attendance and geographic reach.

o increase tourist visitation and expenditures.

o improve quality and sustainability.

o strengthen Ontario's tourism brand image throughout Canadian and international markets.

o facilitate overnight stays by visitors to a community through the development and marketing of overnight packages (e.g., theatre/hotel/restaurant discounts) and incentives.

o attract in-province overnight and out-of-province visitation in Ontario.

    Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster consists of two streams. The Event Bid stream and the Event Hosting stream support bidding costs and hosting costs, respectively, for major one-time events or events that do not recur annually in Ontario, but travel nationally or internationally to host destinations. Blockbuster events must be of a size and scope sufficient to draw tourists to Ontario’s communities, attract significant media exposure, and profile Ontario’s destinations nationally and globally. Blockbuster events must have a cash operating budget in excess of $1 million.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Celebrate Ontario program.

Successful Applicants

View the 2016-17 Celebrate Ontario event listings.


The deadline to apply for the Celebrate Ontario 2017 category or Celebrate Ontario 2017 Multi-Year category is Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) via the Grants Ontario System.

Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and must be submitted a minimum of four months prior to an event for Event Hosting applications and a minimum of two months prior to a bid deadline for Event Bid applications.

Eligibility Requirements

For complete details on Celebrate Ontario 2017 program eligibility requirements, please refer to the Celebrate Ontario 2017 application guide or the Celebrate Ontario 2016 Blockbuster Application Guide.

Program Guidelines

Celebrate Ontario 2017

Celebrate Ontario 2017 Application Guide

Celebrate Ontario 2017 and Celebrate Ontario 2017 Multi-Year applicants are required to complete and attach an Additional Information Package with their online application. You must also attach a copy of your organization’s most recent financial statement (if your last year’s financial statement is not finalized, provide your previous year’s statement). The Grants Ontario System Reference Guide for Applicants provides detailed instructions on how to attach documents to an online application.

The Grants Ontario System will not allow you to submit your application if you do not attach a financial statement or the Additional Information Package.

Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster – Event Bid and Event Hosting

Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster application guide


For technical support, including any computer related issues, please contact:


  • In Toronto: (416) 325-6691
  • Toll Free: 1-855-216-3090


Celebrate Ontario applicants with cash operating budgets less than $1 million may direct telephone or e-mail enquiries to a Regional Tourism Advisor.

Celebrate Ontario 2016 applicants who require services in French may direct enquiries to Renée Ruel, Senior Development Consultant (bilingual), by telephone at (416) 325-9554 or email at renee.ruel@ontario.ca.

Celebrate Ontario 2017 applicants and Celebrate Ontario 2017 Multi-Year applicants with event cash operating expenses of $1 million or more may direct enquiries to Céline Pagnoud, Senior Program Consultant, by telephone at (416) 314-3435 or email at Celine.Pagnoud@ontario.ca.

Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Event Bid and Event Hosting applicants may direct enquiries to Robert Sweeting, Manager, by telephone at (416) 325-7426 or email at robert.sweeting@ontario.ca.

Last updated: October 5, 2016