Industry Canada

Industry Canada

June 01, 2009 13:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of $3 million to support Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival.

"Our government recognizes how important tourism is to the Canadian economy," said Minister Paradis. "Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival was host to more than 2 million visitors in 2008. The $3 million in funding through the Marquee Tourism Events Program will help contribute to this event's continued success."

The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) is a Government of Canada initiative under Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to provide $100 million in funding over two years for marquee tourism events in support of the visitor economy. This program will help events that attract a large number of international visitors to maintain and enhance their appeal. It will also help events that are established nationally to gain an international presence.

"This meaningful support, in addition to this recognition, will help Just For Laughs / Juste pour rire remain the global leader in comedy," said Gilbert Rozon, Founder, Just For Laughs Festival, and CEO, Just For Laughs Group. "The Government of Canada has made a tangible gesture for which we're thankful. The Just For Laughs Festival applauds this timely support, which is vital to our success."

The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival is recognized as a world-renowned entertainment attraction and will be celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2009. From July 3 to 26, nearly 2000 artists will entertain audiences from within Canada and abroad. The event is also broadcast to millions of fans all over the world, highlighting Montreal as one of Canada's metropolitan cities that offer something for everyone.

Through the MTEP funding, the Just For Laughs Festival will increase the number of its activities, including a new fringe festival called Chaos which is based on the model of the very popular Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and will enhance a number of its other flagship events. The funding will also allow the Festival to increase Canada's national and international profile as well as its overall attendance.

The most recent MTEP call for proposals drew the interest of many other established Canadian marquee tourism events. The Government of Canada will be identifying successful recipients throughout the coming months.

The MTEP complements the numerous federally funded, tourism-related programs that are part of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. These programs, which provide measures to support Canada's economy, stimulate the growth of tourism and contribute to the development of Canada's visitor economy over the long term, include:

- $40 million over two years to the Canadian Tourism Commission for domestic and international marketing;

- $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites; and

- $12 million for infrastructure to promote international cruise ship tourism in Quebec.

For more information, please visit the Marquee Tourism Events Program website ( For additional information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit


The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP)

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $100 million in funding over two years for marquee tourism events that draw a significant number of tourists to Canada.

Marquee tourism events provide significant cultural, sporting and recreational opportunities for Canadians and attract national and international audiences to all parts of the country. Support for these events contributes to Canada's visitor economy by sustaining or increasing the level of tourism and tourism-related spending that benefits hotels, restaurants and a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

As a result, the Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) will provide funding to support annually recurring, world-class events that generate significant levels of tourism and that aim to attract a significant amount of international media attention to Canada as a tourism destination. Events must be well-established and have a tradition of programming excellence.

The Government of Canada recognizes that tourism is an important driver of economic activity in all regions of Canada and that further expansion of Canada's tourism industry can increase tourism export revenues and provide stimulus to the economy at a critical time.

The program requirements are strict and targeted. All interested applicants for the MTEP must demonstrate how their event will contribute to the objectives of the program to help events deliver enhanced world-class programs and experiences, thereby increasing or sustaining the number of tourists from within and outside Canada. If funding is provided, all applicants will be required to provide annual audited financial statements for the years in which funding is received and the two years following the completion of the proposed project. An independent study examining the economic impact of the funding is also required. Applicants will also be subject to monitoring and independent audits for the funds received.

The economic impact of the tourism industry is significant, representing 2 percent of Canada's gross domestic product, over 662 900 jobs in all regions across the country and $20 billion in government revenues.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is intended to stimulate the economy and invest in our long-term growth. The tourism initiatives in this plan lay out a framework for branding Canada as a tourism destination of choice for domestic and international visitors.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    613-668-5406 (cell)
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations