Government of Canada

Government of Canada

July 15, 2009 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 15, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $280 000 to support the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival.

"Today's announcement is exciting news to all involved in the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival," said Minister Raitt. "The funding from the Marquee Tourism Events Program highlights our government's recognition of the immense impact that the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival has on the local economy."

"We're thrilled that the Canadian government is lending its support to the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival presented by Westjet through the application of its innovative Marquee Tourism Events Program," said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, General Manager, Toronto Just for Laughs. "These funds allow us to strengthen our programming with international as well as local talent; increase our ability to make the Greater Toronto Area a world-class entertainment venue for its residents and cultural tourists; and, most importantly, stimulate the local economy by getting tourists to take advantage of the Greater Toronto Area's tourism and hospitality infrastructure."

This world-renowned comedy festival will feature five days of culturally diverse programming and offer its international audiences a wide range of entertainment, including trampoline artists, circus and acrobatic performers, musicians, and dance performances.

The Marquee Tourism Events Program funding will make it possible for the Toronto Just for Laughs Festival to further promote the festival year-round throughout Canada and the U.S. by developing a new online marketing tool. Program enhancements will include expanded hours and enhanced free outdoor street arts shows. On July 19, the festival will complete its 2009 cultural theme, India, with an indoor show that includes a stand-up comedy performance in English and Punjabi.

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. The 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, please visit the Marquee Tourism Events Program website or the Canada's Economic Action Plan website.



BACKGROUNDER

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 Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Pema Lhalungpa - Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502