Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Ontario’s government for the people is working to create jobs and drive local tourism by investing more than $13 million in over 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, with an additional $4 million in funding for Blockbuster events.

Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, was joined by Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington, at the Royal Botanical Gardens to announce funding for Celebrate Ontario 2019. This program is supporting festivals and events like the Telling Tales Festival, which will be adding a third festival day at the Royal Botanical Gardens in late September with readings by Canadian authors and illustrators, nature walks and activities for families.

Celebrate Ontario supports local festivals and events of all sizes to reach new audiences, improve the programs for visitors, benefit local economies, and create new jobs. Every dollar invested through Celebrate Ontario results in almost $21 of visitor spending.

“Ontario is open for business and open for jobs. By investing in festivals and events, our government is tapping into the economic potential of the tourism industry,” said Minister Tibollo. “As we develop Ontario’s new tourism strategy, we will continue to invest in programs like Celebrate Ontario that help to maximize the growth and competitiveness of the great festivals and events that take place throughout the province.”

The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster category encourages the attraction and hosting of major one-time, or infrequently recurring, national and international events in Ontario.

Successful funding recipients will begin to be notified in the coming days.

“This support from Celebrate Ontario is helping Telling Tales grow on a larger scale that we thought possible,” said Susan Jasper, Executive Director of Telling Tales. “Our festival connects young people with Canada’s leading children’s authors, illustrators, storytellers and musicians – and thanks to Celebrate Ontario, we’ll be expanding our audience of families not just from our own backyard but from across the province.”

“Through Celebrate Ontario, we are making strategic investments to support festivals and events across the province,” said MPP Jane McKenna. “This program sends a message that we are backing our great local festivals and ensuring Ontario is open for business.”

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