Government of Canada

Government of Canada

July 24, 2009 17:41 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Winnipeg Folk Festival

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 24, 2009) - The Government of Canada has made an investment of more than $360 000 to support the Winnipeg Folk Festival as part of the Marquee Tourism Events Program.

"I'm proud to announce this funding for the Winnipeg Folk Festival, which has consistently produced a first-class festival at Birds Hill Provincial Park," said James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, on behalf of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. "The Winnipeg Folk Festival is internationally renowned, and all Manitobans recognize the contribution the Folk Festival makes to our culture and the local economy."

"We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada for this grant under the Marquee Tourism Events Program," said Terry Sargeant, President of the Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. "It has allowed the Festival to have its most successful year ever, both artistically and in numbers. We were able to add a fifth night for the first time ever, expand our audience for this year and bring in new people who will return in future years."

Each summer, the Winnipeg Folk Festival features more than 300 local, national and international artists with thematic focuses on a range of musical styles: folk, blues, country, old-time, bluegrass and gospel. Its musical programming includes workshops, kid-friendly music and main stage performances. In addition to music, the Folk Festival features visual arts exhibits, a craft village featuring artisans and crafters from across the country and a food village that showcases a diversity of cultural flavours.

Funding from the Marquee Tourism Events Program allowed the Folk Festival to introduce an additional day of programming, extending it to a five-day event, increase the scope of its marketing campaign and improve its family area facilities.

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, please visit the Marquee Tourism Events Program website (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/dsib-tour.nsf/eng/home) or the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp).

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
    Laryssa Waler - A/Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502