The Celebrate Ontario 2016 program is open and receiving applications through the Grants Ontario System.
What’s New for Celebrate Ontario 2016?
- The Tourism Event Marketing Program is merging with the Celebrate Ontario program to streamline the application process for festivals and events. New and existing events may now apply for marketing funding through the Celebrate Ontario 2016 program. The newly combined program will continue to strengthen Ontario’s tourism offerings through closely aligned and focused programming and marketing support.
- Applicants are encouraged to better understand their obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The AODA makes it possible for people of all abilities to be a part of their communities every day. The Government of Ontario has published a Guide to Accessible Festivals & Outdoor Events for organizers of festivals and outdoor events to improve accessibility and to better understand their obligations under the AODA. Expenses related to improved accessibility and services are eligible under the 2016 Celebrate Ontario program. Next year, the Celebrate Ontario 2017 program will consider how applicants have met their obligations under the AODA as part of the scoring criteria.
- Applicants are invited to consider Canada’s 150th in their planning. For events occurring between January 1, 2017 and March 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 ─ in planning their events.
The Celebrate Ontario 2016 program comprises two categories:
Celebrate Ontario 2016 provides 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. Celebrate Ontario 2016 applicants must demonstrate how their event will:
- Increase attendance and geographic reach.
- Increase tourist visitation and expenditures.
- Improve quality and sustainability.
- Strengthen Ontario's tourism brand image throughout Canadian and international markets.
- Facilitate overnight stays by visitors to a community through the development and marketing of overnight packages (e.g., theatre/hotel/restaurant discounts) and incentives.
- Attract in-province overnight and out-of-province visitation in Ontario.
Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster 2016 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. The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster 2015 program is still accepting applications. Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster 2016 program materials will be made available in December 2015.
Frequently Asked Questions and Technical Questions and Answers
Previous Successful Applicants
View the 2015-16 Celebrate Ontario event listings.