Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Industry Canada

Industry Canada

June 22, 2009 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 22, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $965 000 to support the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

"This is exciting news to all involved in the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu," said Minister Paradis. "The assistance from the Marquee Tourism Events Program highlights the Canadian government's recognition of the immense impact the balloon festival and other such marquee events have on the visitor economy."

"I am very happy that the International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is being recognized as one of Canada's major tourism and cultural events," said Mr. Martin Baccichet, Event Director. "The support announced today will make it possible to implement grandiose projects such as Planet Balloon, which could not otherwise have come into being. The festival thanks the Government of Canada and salutes its initiative in recognizing renowned events as an important tool to boost the economy in the cultural sector."

This investment will make it possible to enhance programming, marketing and promotional efforts and add two unique events, the Planet Balloon theme park project and a hot air balloon interpretation centre.

The Government of Canada, through the Marquee Tourism Events Program, is investing $100 million over two years to assist marquee events across the country. This budget funding will help event organizers expand their reach and promote Canada as a must-see tourist destination to visitors from around the globe. Additional projects are now being reviewed and successful applicants are expected to be announced at a future date.

The Marquee Tourism Events Program is one of several tourism-related programs in the Government of 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:

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

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

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