OTTAWA — This year will see a dramatic drop in tourism in Canada because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, but the federal government has announced funding to help the northern Ontario tourism sector build for the future.
The minister responsible for FedNor, Melanie Joly, on Sunday announced $7.6 million for municipalities, organizations and companies across northwestern and northeastern Ontario.
Among the larger grants, the City of Thunder Bay receives $750,000 for infrastructure to support the development of Prince Arthur's Landing Phase 2 Cultural Campus on the waterfront.
The City of Kenora is getting $1 million to launch Phase IV of its community downtown revitalization strategy.
Elsewhere, Friends of White Otter Castle receives $185,000 to complete essential restorations and upgrades to the historic log structure north of Atikokan.
The Atikokan Economic Development Corporation gets $185,000 to purchase a custom-designed mobile event stage to create tourism opportunities, a further $82,000 to implement a marketing plan that includes updated highway signage, print and video materials, and $172,000 to hire a community economic development officer for three years.
Cushing Lake Resort, near Lac des Mille Lacs, will use a $90,000 FedNor contribution for improvements including a new water filtration system, docks, electrical upgrades and safety enhancements.
Among other grants, the government is giving North of Superior Tourism Association $328,000 to hire a coordinator for three years to implement the Lake Superior North Shore Tourism Strategy, and $60,000 to develop the Lake Superior Circle Tour website and mobile app.
Indigenous Tourism Ontario gets $200,000 to implement a culinary tourism strategy.
Minister Joly said "Our tourism sector and the 1.8 million people it employs across Canada have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we're here for them. We're focused on ensuring that businesses, organizations and local governments are ready to reopen the industry and help Canadian tourism come roaring back."