Eblast July 8, 2016 Is this email not displaying correctly?
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Minister's Message, RTO7 Program Updates, Industry Events & More!

A Message from Minister Eleanor McMahon – Ontario150 Project

July 6, 2016

In a little less than 12 months, our country will come together in celebration, as we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  I am excited to announce that, as part of my new role as Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport, I will also be the Minister responsible for the Ontario150 program. 

Today, I am excited to share part of the province's plan to honour this milestone and recognize 150 years of Ontario as a province within Canada.

The Ontario150 program is a series of events and initiatives that will stretch to every corner of our province, showcasing Ontario's innovative spirit, our culture and our community diversity.

In addition to a number of signature events planned across the province, municipalities, community organizations and Indigenous groups will be able to access funding programs designed to bring people together, while laying the groundwork for a strong economic, social and cultural legacy for Ontario's next 150 years.

There are three application-based Ontario150 grant programs.  They include:
  • The Community Capital Program - a $25 million fund to renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure to increase access, improve safety and maximize community use (application period opens July 18 and closes September 14, 2016);
  • The Partnership Program - a $5 million program to support new partnerships and collaborations that engage, enable and empower youth as the next generation of Ontario leaders (application period opens July 6 and closes September 30, 2016);
  • And the Community Celebration Program - a $7 million fund to help communities celebrate this historic year (application period opens July 6 and closes September 2, 2016).

To learn more about the programs and how to apply, visit  I encourage you to share this information with organizations in your community.

Ontario150 is an opportunity to show the pride we share as Ontarians, to tell our story to the country and to the world, and help shape the province's future.


Original signed by

Eleanor McMahon
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

RTO7 Year End Wrap Up
Thank you to all of those who joined us on June 16th at the Georgian Bay Hotel and Conference Centre for the Year End Wrap Up!  As stated at the meeting, the presentation has been posted on

Circle the Date – BruceGreySimcoe Tourism Conference
Be sure to hold the date of Wednesday, December 7, 2016 for the second annual BruceGreySimcoe Tourism Conference.  Details are just being finalized, so stay posted!

Request for Proposal Posted
As highlighted in our last eblast and through our blog and social media channels, RTO7 is seeking proposals from experienced suppliers for the provision of a 3-Year Tourism Agri-Culinary Action Plan for North Simcoe Tourism (Heart of Georgian Bay) and Ontario’s Lake Country.  Please visit the RFPs/RFQs page on to download the document and to view the Agri-Culinary RFP Q & A list.  Proposals are due July 15th, 2016 at noon.

Partnership Program
As outlined at the Year End Wrap Up meeting of June 16th, there are still matching funds (1:1) available for eligible partnership projects, but get your applications in soon!  All the info you need is available on the website on the Partnership Program page.
We have about 30 approved projects to date this year in signage, digital advertising, video and photography, web portal development, translation and product and experience development. 
If you need more information or wish to discuss your proposed project, please contact Alex at 705-441-2931 or

More on RTO7 Programs & Partnerships
  • Festivals Implementation Program
    Designed to help well established and regional/emerging festivals to coach and support organizers to develop a new component, this could be a new experience at the festival or a marketing plan to target a different geographic area.  DMOs, BIAs or Chambers may also apply for a cluster of festivals (max 5) within their area.  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with a deadline of December 31, 2016. Visit for program criteria and program details. **SPACE IS LIMITED** 
  • Experience Implementation Program
    Need help developing your idea into a great visitor product or experience?  This program will help stakeholders develop their ideas with coaching and funding (1:1, min $500 – max $5,000 ).  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis with a deadline of December 31, 2016. Program details can be found on
  • Gift of the Getaway Campaign
    There’s still time to join the Gift of the Getaway Campaign. This FREE program allows people to purchase gift certificates online to travel and stay at Resorts of Ontario properties.  BruceGreySimcoe attractions may also participate.   Coupons from participating attractions can be downloaded to encourage visitors to travel to and stay in our region. 
If you are interested in participating in the above programs or require more information, please contact Kim Clarke at or 519-379-2506.

OTMPC Marketing Opportunities 
  • OTMPC (Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation) has several 2016/17 partnership marketing opportunities available in TV, print, digital and social media.  For details on these opportunities, read the Connection Post.
  • Are you listed yet on, Ontario’s official tourism website?  Operator listings are free, as are those for festivals, events and packages.  Registration is required to add your information.  Visit the OTMPC website to log in and update your listing or to register as an operator.

How (and Why) to Use Google Alerts
Once again, social media and online tourism marketing expert Frederic Gonzalo shares his wisdom on Google Tools – why operators should use Google Alerts.  Read the Connection Post to learn more.

Professional Development Opportunities

Industry Events

Recent Connection Posts
  • The Government of Canada is investing $270 million in improvements to the Trent-Severn Waterway.  See the Connection Post for more info.
  • Saugeen Shores Trolley – visitors can ride a new set of wheels around the community this summer!  Read the Connection Post.
  • The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is holding a Facebook photo contest to support and promote tourism in the province.  More in the Connection Post.
  • Ontario’s Tourism Action Plan, the result of engagement sessions and stakeholder feedback collected over several months earlier this year, is now available online.  Read more about it on RTO7 Connection.

Require assistance or have questions about your listing or festival?  Contact Ginny Henry,