Supporting Ontario's Unique Festivals and Events Province Helping to Boost Tourism and Create Jobs

[Press Release: Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport]

Ontario is supporting festivals and events across the province that will draw tourists, create jobs and grow local economies.

Through the Celebrate Ontario 2014 program, the province is helping 229 festivals and events that celebrate the province’s diversity, heritage and culture, while enhancing the experience for visitors and increasing attendance.

The province is also building excitement for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games through the new IGNITE Ontario program. In partnership with TO2015, the organizing committee for the Games, Ontario will provide up to $10,000 for organizations and municipalities hosting local celebrations and community engagement events that promote the upcoming Games.

Helping festivals and events across the province grow and thrive is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.

Quick Facts

  • Festivals and events that received Celebrate Ontario funding in 2012 reported an increase of 1.2 million visitors and more than $206 million in visitor spending compared to 2011.
  • Festivals and events support over 22,000 jobs in Ontario every year.
  • In 2012, tourism contributed more than $23 billion to the economy and supported over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ontario.
  • The province is investing $1 million for the IGNITE Ontario program from the province’s $42 million Promotion, Celebration and Legacy Strategy.
  • The 2015 Games will be an opportunity to showcase Ontario to an international audience that will include 250,000 visitors and 10,000 athletes and officials.
  • The Games and Games-related investments will create more than 26,000 jobs and grow Ontario’s real GDP by $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2017.


Tourism is a billion dollar industry that supports over 300,000 jobs for Ontarians across the province — many of them youth. Through Celebrate Ontario and programs like IGNITE, our government is boosting tourism to strengthen our local economies and build our provincial profile as a premier destination that offers exciting experiences for visitors and residents alike.”

Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Celebrate Ontario is a valued program that recognizes the importance of our province’s unique festivals and events and supports the growth of our tourism industry. This year, it is once again helping organizers to enhance their events so that they can attract more visitors and create more jobs.”

Gary Masters, Executive Director, Festivals and Events Ontario