Indigenous Growth Fund Announced
NACCA, the Government of Canada, BDC and other government partners increase access to capital with an innovative, evergreen fund, a first of its kind in Canada.

The Indigenous Growth Fund (IGF) is a new $150M investment fund that will provide access to the capital that Indigenous small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have long sought and lacked. Indigenous entrepreneurs across all industries, including emergent exporters and food and agriculture related businesses, will be able to access the Fund via business loans from a network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) throughout the country.

The Fund’s model, which was structured by NACCA and BDC Capital, BDC’s investment arm, connects private investors to Indigenous businesses. The structure relies on AFIs’ ability to deploy capital based on their unique understanding of, and connection to, the communities they serve.

Loan capital from the IGF will flow through the network of AFIs to Indigenous businesses that are looking to start or expand. AFIs accept new loan inquiries on an ongoing basis. Indigenous businesses cannot access the IGF directly; however, starting later in 2021, an increasing number of AFIs will be able to provide more and larger loans to Indigenous enterprises drawing on capital from the IGF.  A list of main offices of Aboriginal Financial Institutions across the country can be found here.

Applications Open for the Community Building Fund
The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the Community Building Fund across two distinct funding streams – Operating and Capital. Information about the Capital stream will be available later in 2021.

Community Building Fund – Operating stream
This funding stream provides support for non-profits and Indigenous communities in the community arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation sectors to help sustain their operations and create new attractions, experiences and events.

Grant term length: 6 or 12 months
Amount awarded: Minimum $10,000, Maximum $250,000
Application deadline: April 28, 2021 at 5 PM ET

Visit the Community Building Fund – Operating stream page or register for an information session  to learn more about eligibility requirements, the application, and eligible expenses for funding.
Receive one-on-one Business Support from ITO 
Launched at the beginning of March, ITO’s new Indigenous Business Advisory (IBA) Program aims to deliver one-on-one business support services. Tailored to each business’ identified needs, advisors will work directly with you to provide resources, coaching, mentorship, and support. IBAs will serve as a single point of contact to help Indigenous tourism operators access and navigate financial resources, business planning tools, training and skills programs, marketing opportunities and more. Learn more about the IBA program details including eligibility and supports here.


Northern Ontario Tourism Training Week
What to expect from the Northern Ontario Tourism Spring Training Week:
  • Practical & interactive online training sessions
  • Latest marketing and branding trends
  • Virtual product development training
  • Virtual Networking opportunities
  • Northern Ontario SPARK Program Winner Announcements
  • Connect with operators, industry professionals, and business owners
  • Access exclusive training opportunities tailored for tourism stakeholders in the North
  • Online training workshops and information sessions

Improve Your Online Marketing – Digital Success for Tourism Businesses and Organizations

Date: Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
Time: 1:00pm
Presented by: Mike Jacobs, CEO, The New Business

This session will review the most effective tactics for getting your business or organization seen by the digital world; websites, social media and third party services.
Upcoming Virtual Networking Event 
Collaborations & Partnerships in Tourism: Virtual networking event presented by ITO, TIAO and ABM 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm EDT

We are pleased to partner with Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and Advanced Business Match (ABM) to bring you a series of networking events that aim to foster stronger connections and partnerships within the tourism industry and beyond. 

Join us on Tuesday, April 20th at 12:00pm EST. Conversations will span from domestic market opportunities to short-term re-purposing of tourism assets for other industries. Here’s how it works: ABM ensures each attendee’s projects and goals are a fit for the tailored ABM Indigenous Ontario network. Once registered, ABM delegates connect with potential business matches by reviewing detailed online profiles and selecting appointments with other businesses and organizations participating in the event.

Members of ITO and TIAO as well as Indigenous youth attend events in this series for free! Stay tuned for more event series from ITO, TIAO & ABM coming soon!
What is the Safe Travels Stamp?
The WTTC has created a self-certified Safe Travels Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols. Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Stamp allows travellers to easily recognize operators around the world that have adopted the highest standards of health and hygiene protocols. Tourism operators across Ontario are encouraged to watch the recording of the Safe Travels Stamp information session and learn how this free certification will give you a competitive advantage when travel returns.
Did you miss the National Industry Update on April 9th?
A full recording of the update  is now available. Watch for an overview of TIAC’s advocacy efforts aimed at the survival and recovery of the tourism industry in Canada as well as a strategy update and next steps from Destination Canada. 


Think Outside the Teapot
Thunder Bay-based Tea Horse is blazing a culinary trail with Indigenous teas made from wild rice.

Founded by Denise Atkinson, an Anishnaabe entrepreneur, and Marc Bohémier, Tea Horse Teas found its niche by authentically infusing wild rice, “amazing original North American superfood,” and Asian teas. The wild rice is sourced from Indigenous harvesters along the pristine lakes of Northwestern Ontario. During the processing of the wild rice they use minimal technology ensuring no quality, nutrition or flavour is lost. Creating a one of a kind mix of herbal infused teas that no one else in the tea world is doing.

This Mother’s Day, Tea Horse is selling a limited-edition Mother’s Day basket. The basket itself is made by Gail Bannon, an artist from Fort William First Nation, whose medium is birch bark that she harvests—and for the Tea Horse baskets she even harvested materials from the couple’s property. She’s making birch bark winnowing baskets, traditionally used in the wild rice harvesting process, to separate the seed from the chaff. The birchbark basket will be trimmed with dogwood, and filled with porcelain teapots, teacups, and a selection of wild rice teas, and chocolates from a local chocolate maker. 

The gift baskets will be called Honoring our Women, and a donation from each purchase will go to the Full Moon Memory Walk, a Thunder Bay charity to remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Read the full article

      Indigenous Tourism Ontario
      1300 Hwy 540
      4 directions Complex Unit 4
      Aundeck Omni Kaning, Ontario

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