Ontario Tourism & Travel Small Business Support Grant
The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant portal is open for applications until 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.
Are you still unable to access the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant? The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) wants to hear from you about whether you have applied for the grant, found yourself ineligible or are unable to apply for the grant for any other reasons. This will help TIAO advise government and work to ensure this much needed funding gets to the businesses it was intended to support.  Fill out the survey here.


FEAST: Indigenous Culinary Philosophies
Date: Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:00pm

As part of the Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience (RAVE) Summer Session, ITO will host a live discussion with three distinguished culinary professionals about the roles that community, tradition and innovation play in their work and what it means to share culture through food. Join us for part 2 of Indigenous Culinary Philosophies with Chefs Tammy Maki, Billy Alexander and Gerry Brandon.
Click here to login or register for free to watch on June 15th. 
This live discussion will build on the topics discussed in our first Indigenous Culinary Philosophies chat featuring Chefs Joseph Shawana, Tawnya Brant, Billy Alexander and Trudy Metcalfe-Coe.
Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival
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

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!

Niagara Parks
Indigenous History Month Speaker Series
This National Indigenous History Month, explore some of Niagara River’s past and present Indigenous connections with an exciting three-part speaker series featuring commentators specializing in Indigenous history, art and culture.
  • June 10th at 7:00pmDesigning the Landscape of Nations Memorial featuring Tim Johnson, Tom Ridout & Raymond Skye 
  • June 17th at 7:00pmStrawberry Moon Matriarch Circle featuring Renee Thomas-Hill & Jackie Labonte 
  • June 24th at 7:00pmThe Battle of Chippawa: The Divide Among Peoples featuring Jim Hill & Travis Hill 
The Speaker Series will be delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions.
Introduction to SEO
Brought to you by RDEE Canada et Le Corridor, this free workshop aims to help enterprises better position their tourism business with Google while reaching francophone markets. Register here.


ITO and Thunder Bay Pleased to Announce New Partnership
On June 6th, 2021, ITO and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) with Tourism Thunder Bay signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in the Northwest region. 

The MOU will see both organizations work together in efforts to establish Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario as a global hub for Indigenous education, business best practices, and the continuation of efforts to build strong Indigenous partnerships within the industry. The MOU will also ensure Indigenous tourism is provided support through the economy recovery post-COVID-19. 

“Our ITO team is extremely excited to formalize a relationship with one more important partner. Supporting the growth of Indigenous tourism benefits all Ontarians and Canadians while allowing Indigenous people to tell their story on their terms,” says Kevin Eshkawkogan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Tourism Ontario. “Indigenous tourism is critical to see the renewal, rejuvenation, and future growth of the Ontario tourism industry. Working together in a mutually beneficial manner will see us collectively prosper economically, socially, and culturally.”

Read the full press release
TIAC Announces Campaign to Plan for Reopening the Canada-U.S Border
Yesterday, June 8, 2021 the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announced the launch of a new campaign to call on the federal government to plan for reopening the Canada-U.S. border, which has been closed for nearly 15 months. The campaign focuses on getting Canadian decision-makers to acknowledge the urgent need and to commit to a date to open the border, before the summer tourism season is lost.

Earlier this month, the Expert Advisory Panel to the federal government on COVID-19 Testing and Screening made a powerful case for changing the travel policy, saying that it should be revamped to reflect the significant progress made on the pandemic. This included scrapping the mandatory hotel quarantine system and changing the cross-border travel policy.

“The decision to close the border was made in a time of crisis, and now that we are starting to come through on the other side, we must have a plan in place to reopen the border, to kickstart the Canadian tourism economy. The health and safety of Canadians continues to be of the utmost importance – which is why we need guidance from all levels of government on a plan,” says Beth Potter.

TIAC will be hosting a number of Parliamentary and Congressional panels in the coming weeks to discuss border reopening.
Coming Soon…
ITO is pleased to share that we have been working in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) to bring a special project for Indigenous inclusion in the collective tourism labour market. On June 21st, 2021, ITO will be announcing A Three Fires Collaborative Quest. Stay tuned for the launch coming soon!

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

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