Ontario’s Indigenous Tourism Economic Study


Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO), along with MDB Insight, has officially launched a new Economic Study to understand the effects of COVID-19 on the Indigenous Tourism industry in Ontario. The information collected in this study will be vital for the recovery of the industry, as ITO will use the findings to advocate on your behalf. ITO, along with our partners and members will continue to work towards understanding our present to honour our past, while growing for the future.

We need your participation.
From June 21st – July 30th you may be randomly selected to participate in a survey by phone or email. The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. To thank you for your time, the first 200 businesses to complete the survey will receive a $15 Tim Horton’s gift card compliments of the ITO team.
 In turn, the information from the survey will be used to help secure support for operators, recovery funding and to plan future Ontario Indigenous tourism development activities. ITO respectfully invites you to participate in the Impacting Our Future project. Your input will be invaluable to the project. If you have any questions, please contact Leni Brem, Director of Operations, Indigenous Tourism Ontario at LBrem@indigenoustourismontario.ca.

Deadline Approaching
Ontario Tourism & Travel Small Business Support Grant
REMINDER: The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant application deadline is coming up next Friday, June 25th, 2021. The grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector. 

This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG). To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020. Small business owners can use the grant in whatever way makes the most sense for their business. For example, some businesses could use the support to pay employee wages, while others can use it to invest in their recovery. 

Indigenous Applicants Without CRA Numbers
Indigenous business owners do not require a CRA business number to apply for this one-time grant. Indigenous applicants without CRA business numbers can apply using the 
dedicated application form that must be emailed or mailed in for processing and approval. Indigenous businesses that do have CRA business numbers can choose to apply online by following the ‘APPLY NOW’ button below.
Your Feedback is Needed
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is conducting a
survey to collect up-to-date information on the current challenges facing tourism business operations as the province is reopening. As Ontario reopens under Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen and we are preparing to move to Steps 2 and 3 this summer, it is necessary to gather information to demonstrate the tourism industry’s continued need for government support.  

To have a chance at long-term economic recovery, continued government support is necessary. After fifteen months of closures, job losses, layoffs, revenue losses, and mounting debt, the tourism industry faces a long process of recovering and rebuilding. As the last industry to recover in Ontario, we need to ensure that reopening does not become a substitute for vital government aid.  

The purpose of this survey is to understand what Ontario’s tourism businesses need to recover and rebuild. TIAO is seeking your assistance in providing this high-level reporting so that they can advocate on your behalf.

Fill out the survey
Provincial Antigen Screening Program
Rapid antigen testing is an additional screening method and safety measure that can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep workplaces open. Organizations can test on-site and get results in about 15 minutes without shipping to a lab. The Provincial Antigen Screening Program (PASP) provides free rapid antigen test kits to high-risk communities, organizations and essential workplaces. The application process is open to all organizations that are allowed to be open under current public health measures, and also require people to be physically present. Learn about rapid antigen testing and find out if your organization is eligible to access free test kits.


Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 
Don’t miss out on your chance to celebrate Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival this weekend!

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) is a family-oriented multi-disciplinary arts festival that helps Canadians of all walks of life to recognize the enormous contributions that Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples have made to Canada. This annual event truly represents the cultural diversity of our urban Indigenous community, with full participation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, attracting over 40,000 visitors a year. This year’s SSIF commenced on Tuesday June 1st and will continue to Monday June 21st with virtual workshops and entertainment as well as drive-in movies, concerts and other exciting activities online and at a local Ottawa venue. Bringing together Indigenous artists, performers, educators, students, and community members to share knowledge and celebrate the diverse Indigenous cultures in Canada, SSIF is the perfect way to celebrate National Indigenous History Month. For a full list of upcoming events check out SSIF’s 
event calendar!
Summer Solstice Festival North
Join us Thursday June 17th – Monday June 21st!

Looking for a fun, safe, Indigenous tourism experience this summer? Celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage at Summer Solstice Festival North (SSFN), a 5 day festival with activities you can enjoy virtually from the comfort of your own home or in person at our drive-in event! Taking place from Thursday June 17th to Monday June 21st, this event serves an important role in bringing a part of the long-standing Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) to Northern Ontario. SSFN will include virtual activities offered by its sister event SSIF, providing a wonderful opportunity for Canadians of all walks of life to celebrate Indigenous cultures in meaningful ways. Join us in recognizing the enormous contributions that Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples have made to Canada. This event is brought to you by Indigenous Tourism Ontario in alignment, support of, and collaboration with SSIF. For a full list of upcoming events check out SSFN’s 
event calendar!
Skode Program Finalists’ Pitch Session
In Anishinaabemowin, Skode means fire! Join us as we celebrate Indigenous entrepreneurs and the ideas that light the fire within their hearts. Tune in tomorrow, Thursday, June 17th on Facebook @SolsticeFestivals or Youtube @SummerSolstice as the 5 Skode finalists pitch their new Indigenous tourism ideas live!

Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2021
Time: 4:00-6:30pm EST

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab have partnered to launch the Skode Program in Ontario, our very friendly take on a tourism Dragon’s Den! The Skode (special edition “Spark”) Program matches selected applicants with a mentor and provides a $5,000 non-repayable contribution to help take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development. Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, businesses, community groups and non-profits were encouraged to bring forward new tourism ideas and experiences that authentically represent, celebrate and promote Indigenous culture, heritage, language, cuisine and communities in Ontario. We hope to see you there!
Indigenous Ingenuity Virtual Premiere
Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with Indigenous Tourism Ontario and Science North by tuning in to the Indigenous Ingenuity: Timeless Inventions Virtual Premiere!

June 21, 2021
Time: 10:00-11:00am

This online experience will showcase our latest exhibition, which offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore a number of Indigenous inventions through the lens of science and shows how the ingenuity of the First Peoples continues to influence our society today.

This entertaining one-hour program will include a virtual tour of the exhibition, appearances by Indigenous performers, vignettes showcasing Indigenous ingenuity, science and innovation, special guests, and more.

FEAST: Indigenous Culinary Philosophies
Did you miss yesterday’s FEAST: Indigenous Culinary Philosophies? The chat, hosted by ITO, is Part 2 of an ongoing series featuring distinguished culinary professionals. Check out the recording as Chefs Tammy Maki, Billy Alexander and Gerry Brandon explore the roles that community, tradition, and innovation play in their work and what it means to share culture through food. 
Haven’t seen Part 1? You can watch the Indigenous Culinary Philosophies chat featuring esteemed Chefs Joseph Shawana, Tawnya Brant, Billy Alexander and Trudy Metcalfe-Coe on Youtube.


Ontario Reopens Borders with Manitoba and Quebec Today
At midnight tonight, Wednesday, June 16th, the Quebec-Ontario and Manitoba-Ontario borders will reopen to all forms of travel. The provincial order restricting interprovincial travel between the provinces was introduced in April as Ontario battled a third wave of COVID-19. Travel between the regions was limited to essential reasons such as health care, custody or compassionate grounds. The decision to reopen the borders comes as the situation improves in Ontario and other pandemic-related restrictions have been relaxed in recent weeks.

This positive step is welcomed as we continue to work on the recovery of the tourism industry. Read the full article

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

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