Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

July 26, 2011 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Supports International Promotion of Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 26, 2011) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announced the awarding of $225,000 in non-repayable funding to Festival de Montgolfières de Gatineau Inc. for the development of an international commercialization strategy.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be associated with the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, an event that contributes to the health of the Outaouais region's tourism industry and helps raise the visibility of Canada's attractions on the international stage," said Minister Lebel.

"This is excellent news for our organization and shows the real impact that the Festival has on the Outaouais economy. Thanks to the support of the federal government, we will now be in a position to extend the scope of our event even further," commented Alain Fredette, chairman of the board of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

This financial assistance served for the development of a commercialization strategy to promote the festival on markets outside Quebec. The first phase of the strategy involved creating promotional tools and carrying out an advertising campaign in conventional, social and electronic media, both domestically and abroad. The organization also upgraded its Internet site to a Web 2.0 platform in order to facilitate site interactivity and user participation, thus allowing festival-goers to now purchase their tickets and submit their comments directly online. The second phase centred on studying the possibility of partnering with other similar ballooning events, like the ones in Annonay, Châlon-sur-Soâne or Chambley, France, or those in New York and New Jersey in the United States.

Now in its 24th year, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is the closing event of the Outaouais summer season and will be taking place this year from September 2 to 5. Drawing more than 200,000 visitors every year, the four-day event generates nearly $10 million in economic spinoffs for the region and employs about a dozen people. With this commercialization project, the organization is hoping to double its attendance rates within the next two years and attract an increased number of foreign visitors.

This contribution from the Government of Canada has been awarded through Canada Economic Development's Community Diversification program.

For more information on the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, visit

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