MIFEN praises Ontario Government

The Major International Festivals and Events Network of Ontario (MIFEN), a coalition of the province’s largest and best-known international tourism festivals and events, is praising the Ontario Government for its long-term and growing investment in the economic development of Ontario’s Festivals and Events Industry through the Celebrate Ontario program.

The Province of Ontario has recently announced an unprecedented investment in the Ontario festival and events industry. Mark Monahan, Chair of MIFEN and Executive Director of Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest, said the investment by the province through Celebrate Ontario in 2017 will support over 300 events with a record $21.8 million, including 38 Ottawa region events who will share $4,081,724. A list of 2017 recipients can be found here (PDF).

In the past three years Celebrate Ontario has provided $60 million in financial support for the growth of both large and small festivals and events in order to attract more tourists from both outside and inside the province.

In 2016, the Celebrate Ontario investment in Ontario’s 275 large and small annual events was $21.3 million with 29 Ottawa’s festivals receiving a total of $3,389,554.

In 2015 Celebrate Ontario invested $18.7 million in 230 festivals and events across the province.  In Ottawa the province provided 23 events with support totaling $2,650,565.

The financial support ranges from a maximum of $50,000 for small events, to $100,000 for events with a budget below $1 million and $300,000 for events with budgets $1 million and higher.

The Celebrate Ontario program supports enhanced initiatives of festivals and events that will help grow their tourism attendance, visitor spending and economic impact on the community and the province.

In 2016, thanks to provincial support, tourism spending attributed to Bluesfest was in excess of $20.7 million.  Acuity Research Group, reports that the 2016 Bluesfest resulted in a $31.2 million GDP economic impact on Ottawa and Ontario, contributing 395 full-time equivalent jobs and over $12 million in taxes to all levels of government.

The Province of Ontario’s investments, like the support from Celebrate Ontario and the new Ontario Music Fund, are a major contributing factor in the growth of Bluesfest over the past 10 years. The funding has helped Bluesfest become an internationally recognized music festival with an increasing economic impact,” says Monahan.  “This story of economic growth as a result of Ontario’s investment in festivals and events is happening throughout the province because the provincial government recognizes the tourism and job creation potential of Ontario’s festival industry.”