Ontario Boosting Cultural Tourism in Communities Across the Province

Showcasing Ontario’s Arts and Culture and Supporting Local Economies

Ontario is supporting 45 art and cultural events that celebrate the province’s rich culture and heritage, attract visitors and grow local economies.

Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, made the announcement today at Ryerson University’s Ryerson Image Centre, which will host exhibits for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival–the world’s largest photography event. With support from the province, this year’s festival will feature Canadian photography at over 200 exhibitions across the Greater Toronto Area and is expected to attract over one million visitors.

Examples of other projects being funded through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF) include:

  • Franco-Fête 2017, a festival that celebrates Ontario’s francophone culture with performances in the Ottawa region.
  • The Confederation Plays, in Toronto, which explore the history of confederation through four key figures: John A. Macdonald, Louis Riel, Wilfred Laurier and Chief Big Bear.
  • A Taste of Greece, a cultural event in London that features traditional Greek dancing and music, including several traditional dance troupes from communities across the province.
  • The Stars and Thunder International Fireworks and Music Festival in Timmins. The eight-day event will include daily musical performances by Indigenous, French and English artists. An international fireworks competition will wrap up the festivities each night.

The Fund helps strengthen cultural tourism, which boosts local economies, creates jobs and draws visitors to communities across the province. This year’s recipients also feature initiatives that commemorate Ontario’s 150th anniversary and are expected to attract an attendance of approximately four million people.

Supporting local economies through cultural tourism is part of the government’s plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is providing over $2.8 million to 45 arts and culture organizations this spring and summer, to market and promote their unique events and exhibits and bring visitors to communities across the province.
  • The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival received a $180,000 investment from the OCAF fund and $235,000 from Ontario’s Celebrate Program.
  • Since 2013, the government has invested nearly $7.8 million through OCAF, which has resulted in over $15 million in support to cultural tourism in Ontario.
  • Culture is one of Ontario’s fastest growing sectors. Culture contributes more than $25 billion to Ontario’s economy and supports almost 280,000 jobs.

Ottawa Recipients Include

  • Ottawa International Children’s Festival: Two new venues and four special programming elements for the the 2017 Festival including: “An Evening with Ashley McIsaac”; three new performance spaces in one new venue at La Nouvelle Scène; “A Simple Space”; Polyglot Theatre will produce a large-scale participatory theatrical installation; and eVenti Verticali’s “Wanted”.
  • Festival Franco-ontarien: Four new activities will be presented in 2017: Ariane Moffatt accompanied by circus artists and street performers; “Urban Planet”; A full day of family programming; and a sesquicentennial photography exhibit featuring 150 FrancoOntarians
  • Caribbean Nations Organization Canada: The 2017 Festival will include: a youth stage; a main stage performances both Saturday and Sunday; visual arts and crafts from each of the Caribbean nations; “The Taste of the Caribbean Food Fair”; “Myers Carnival Village” (Children’s Area) and “Kiddies Carnival”; and a boat Cruise
  • Ottawa International Jazz Festival: Enhancements include: new venues (the auditorium and several small spaces for ‘pop-up’ concerts at The National Gallery, three spaces at La Nouvelle Scene, and a new outdoor stage at City Hall; an additional free day of programming at Confederation Park, several intimate “pop-up” concerts at the NAG, a series of ‘seated’ jazz performances, and a ticketed late night series called “The Midnight Ramble”
  • Classical Unbound Festival: The 2017 Festival will include seven classical music concerts in four nontraditional venues: Three Dog Winery, The Grange of Prince Edward, Hillier Creek Estates, and Rosehall Run Winery