Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 15, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports Winter Festival of Lights

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, Dean Allison, Member of Parliament for Niagara West-Glanbrook, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $170 000 to support the Winter Festival of Lights as part of the Marquee Tourism Events Program.

"This is exciting news for all involved in the Winter Festival of Lights," said Mr. Allison. "The funding from our government's Marquee Tourism Events Program will help bolster tourism, create jobs and stimulate the local economy."

The Winter Festival of Lights is an illumination festival that will feature over 125 animated lighting displays, plus a variety of programming, during its three-month schedule. A new feature this year will be the Rink at the Brink, a 20- by 40-metre skating rink next to the Horseshoe Falls, which is expected to become a memorable winter attraction.

"The new wintertime experience at the Winter Festival of Lights, Rink at the Brink, is a fantastic complement to the Festival's programming and is, in part, thanks to the Government of Canada's Marquee Tourism Events Program," said Joe Miszk, Chair of the Winter Festival of Lights. "We expect it to be a big draw for wintertime tourism to Niagara Falls and could become the catalyst to extend the operating period of the Winter Festival of Lights, which will have a further positive impact upon the tourism industry."

Funding from the Marquee Tourism Events Program will allow the Festival to promote and equip the Rink at the Brink as an iconic winter attraction that will draw visitors and enhance the overall festival experience.

The Government of Canada's Marquee Tourism Events Program is investing $100 million over two years to assist events such as this one across the country. This program will help organizers expand the reach of their events and promote Canada as a must-see tourist destination to visitors from around the globe.

The Marquee Tourism Events Program is one of several tourism-related programs announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan. These programs 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. They include the following:

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

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

For more information on the Marquee Tourism Events Program, please visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/) .

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.

BACKGROUNDER

The Marquee Tourism Events Program

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 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.

All interested applicants for the Marquee Tourism Events Program 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 Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Lynn Meahan - Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502