NEW Indigenous-Owned Business Grant Program
Hydro One and Canadian Coucil for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) have partnered to launch a new Indigenous-owned business grant program. Indigenous-owned businesses headquartered in Ontario are invited to apply to one of two grant levels.  Applications will close on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 4:00PM EST.
New Border Measures
Industry Resources & Tools  
The Public Health Agency of Canada have developed several products/tools to help you and your clients/customers better understand the full scope of the new border measures (as of August 9, 2021) and what travellers will need to know before, during, and after their entry to Canada. We encourage you to use these tools to answer questions your clients and customers may have, and to use them to develop content for your websites and social media to help travellers understand the new travel requirements.
  • Travel Toolkit: A quick guide to help other government departments understand the latest changes to travel rules, and to help them quickly find online resources with more in-depth details. This toolkit is available here
  • Marketing Toolkit: A resource for travel/tourism industry partners with pre-written social media, blogs, fact sheets, and newsletter content that can be used to inform their audiences. This toolkit is available on Google Drive
All travellers arriving or returning to Canada must continue to use ArriveCAN to submit their travel information. See travel.gc.ca/travel-covid for more details. 

If you have any questions or comments please reach out to the Public Health Agency of Canada team at
cheryl.smith@hc-sc.gc.ca or tanya.manoryk@hc-sc.gc.ca
A Three Fires Collaborative Quest
Are you looking for a position in the Ontario Tourism Industry? Or are you a tourism business looking to hire new employees? Applications are open for A Three Fires Collaborative Quest Program – a program designed to support recovery and growth of the province’s Indigenous tourism workforce by building the labour pool and filling critical gaps within the industry. Learn more and apply to participate in the program here.
Tourism Relief Fund
A minimum of $50 million over a two-year period will be invested in Indigenous tourism initiatives through the Govt. of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). 

Funding will be delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) directly to tourism businesses and organizations to help aid in the creation of new tourism experiences, or enhance existing ones. In Ontario, the RDA administering the funds to Northern Ontario businesses is FedNor and the RDA administering the funds to Southern Ontario businesses is FedDev. Contributions to businesses will be either non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs OR fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs. Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous organizations (not generating profits) will be eligible for up to $500,000 in non-repayable contributions.

Applications are open. For details on eligibility and how to apply, please consult your RDA’s Application Guide below. ITO is here to help answer any of your Tourism Relief Fund questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 


Join ITO’s New Members-Only Facebook Network
Are you an ITO Member looking to connect with the vibrant community of Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs and tourism operators in Ontario? Head to ITO’s new members-only Facebook page, Indigenous Tourism Ontario Membership Network, created to help ITO members share information, events, celebrations and opportunities among one another. We invite you to join the group and connect and share with passionate businesses, entrepreneurs and tourism operators across Ontario!
Indigenous Owned Collaboration Box
Don’t miss out on La Fromagerie’s latest collaboration box, filled with products from Indigenous owned and operated businesses in Northern Ontario.

The box features:
  • chocolate truffles from Raven Rising 
  • a jar of maple syrup and bag of maple sugar from Dawaganing Maple
  • scon/bannock in a bag by Nish Scon 
  • 2 types of cheese and house-made blackberry spread from the Fromo
  • A QR code that opens a portal with links to learn more

Each box also comes with the “Good Food, Good Medicine” cookbook written in collaboration with Hiawatha’s. Priced at $100 per box, pre-sales are now open! Orders close on September 20th and will be ready for pick up on Truth and Reconciliation Day (September 30th).

Nominations Closing Next Week
2021 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards Nominations Close August 31st! 
TIAO in partnership with Attractions Ontario, Culinary Tourism Alliance, ITO and OTEC is proud to present the 2021 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards; designed to reflect resiliency in each of the following areas: Innovation, Collaboration and Sustainability. Nominations are open to all tourism businesses in Ontario. All nominees will be featured on TIAO’s website as a legacy to the resiliency of our industry. All finalists will be featured in a Globe & Mail full promotional page. 
Safe Travels Stamp Awards
What is the Safe Travels Stamp Award?
The World Travel and Tourism Council, in conjunction with the industry, including the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), has created the Safe Travels Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols. The Safe Travels Stamp is a specially designed stamp which will allow residents and visitors to identify businesses which have adopted standardized health and hygiene protocols. The Safe Travels Stamp Award is a way for your customers and local residents to recognize your business’s outstanding efforts in adopting the World Travel & Tourism Council’s health and hygiene global standardized protocols for the hospitality and tourism sector. 

There are 13 Safe Travels Stamp Awards to be won: one for each tourism region in Ontario. Voting runs from September 7 – October 11, 2021. Top finalists and winners will be announced on October 26 at the 2021 Ontario Tourism Summit.

How can I win the Safe Travels Stamp Award?
Step One
Get ready! Ensure you are Safe Travels Stamp approved. You can check the list of approved Safe Travel Stamp applicants on our website
here. If you are not yet Safe Travels Stamp approved, click here to apply now.

Step Two
Get the word out! Use your digital Safe Travels Stamp logo on social media and proudly proclaim your Safe Travels Stamp approval. Don’t forget to place your Safe Travels Stamp sticker in a prominent location in your business. (If you haven’t received your sticker yet, it is in the mail and you will have it soon!) Be sure that your team understands and can explain what it means to be Safe Travels Stamp approved. If you need more information, please check out our
Safe Travels Stamp Training Guideline.

Step Three
Get votes! The top vote-getter within each of the thirteen tourism regions of Ontario will win the Safe Travels Stamp Award. Public voting will open on Labour Day weekend. In the weeks ahead, use social media and in-person conversations to let your customers and local residents know about the Safe Travels Award campaign. The voting link will be live on September 7th, and will be issued via social media and on TIAO’s website


New Cultural Programs at Cape Croker Park
With the aim to establish itself as a year-round Indigenous Tourism Destination, Cape Croker Park has recently announced their new Anishinaabe Cultural Programming. The Park has a team of experienced Anishinaabe naturalists and guides who have developed a series of land and water-based activities to share with Park visitors. From Fire Making & Wilderness Skills to Walking with Nature, Cape Croker Park’s new interpretive experiences showcase the rich Indigenous culture in Ontario.  Learn more and book your next trip here.
These Indigenous Chefs are Serving Delicious Dishes in Food Trucks and Lunch Spots
Looking for your next delicious meal? Checkout CBC’s article featuring Indigenous Chefs, Johl Whiteduck Ringuette, Ian Patterson and Tawnya Brant; who are serving up dishes across Ontario. Whether it is Johl White-Ringuette’s canteen kitchen in the Crawford Lake Conservation Area in Milton, Chef Ian Patterson’s food truck on Highway 115, or Chef Tawnya Brant’s lunch counter just east of Bowmanville, in Osheweken, these are eats that you won’t want to miss! Read the full article here.


CBC Talks with ITO about FEAST
Have you heard? ITO recently launched FEAST: Growing Indigenous Food Tourism in Ontarioa 5-year plan intended to strategically advance the Indigenous food tourism sector. Last week, ITO’s President & CEO, Kevin Eshkawkogan, talked Indigenous food tourism development with CBC hosts Amy Dodge, Chris de la Torre, Alan Neal and Julianne Hazlewood.

“Indigenous food tourism is not something new, but we are bringing a new spin to it with the new structure and modern context of our tourism industry”, says Eshkawkogan. During the interviews, Kevin shares what Indigenous food tourism means in Ontario and how ITO is working to celebrate and continue developing this sector.

Listen to Chris and Julianne’s full interviews in the links below!

Ontario Morning with Julianne Hazlewood
Afternoon Drive with Chris de la Torre

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

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences