REMINDER Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant Deadline Tomorrow
Small businesses subject to closure under the modified Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen are able to apply to receive a grant of $10,000.  Eligibility details and information needed to apply can be found in the APPLICATION GUIDE. Deadline to apply is March 11, 2022.
Canada Digital Adoption Program
Last week, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). This program is designed to help Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) boost their e-commerce presence and digitize how they run their businesses behind the scenes. The program provides funding and expertise to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

Businesses will be able to apply for two different kinds of support:
  • Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online, will help SMEs take advantage of e-commerce opportunities
  • Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology, will help businesses with the development and implementation of digital adoption strategies
There is vast opportunity in digital, to market more strategically, operate more efficiently, and use the insights produced to propel tourism businesses forward. CDAP is a valuable resource for industry members looking to take their first steps into going digital or maximizing their ongoing efforts.
Applications Now Open for
Resilient Communities Fund
The Resilient Communities Fund supports the recovery efforts of organizations impacted by COVID-19 with immediate, medium, and longer-term recovery projects. Applicants can apply for a minimum of $10,000, and up to $200,000, with a maximum of $100,000 per year.

Resilient Communities Fund grants support projects that help rebuild an organization’s capacity, enhance their resiliency, and meet the changing needs of their communities. Projects should be focused on: 
  • developing new approaches;
  • starting new activities;
  • adjusting strategies, or 
  • planning for future challenges 
Application deadline is April 6, 2022.


ITO & ROO Talk Resorts
In this chat, ITO invited Shane Bage from Resorts of Ontario (ROO) to talk about the latest innovations in Ontario resorts, some tips for successful resort marketing, and new ITO member benefits!
Indigenous Tourism 101
ITO and Six Nations Tourism come together for this session on how non-Indigenous tourism operators can build meaningful partnerships with Indigenous operators. Hosted by RTO 3.
Inclusion in Ontario Festivals and Events
FEO CEO Dave MacNeil sits down for a one on one chat with Colleen Nolan from Indigenous Tourism Ontario to discuss strategies for festivals and events in the Province to better and respectfully include Indigenous people.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – A Deep Dive
DEI expert, Krystal Abotossaway, explores the history of DEI practices in Canada; the correlation of diversity strategy with business strategy; and examples of leadership inclusion practices in the modern workforce. Hosted by Leni Brem of ITO.
2022 Southern Ontario Tourism Conference
This past week ITO had the pleasure of attending the Southern Ontario Tourism Conference in London, Ontario hosted by Southwest Ontario Tourism and Hamilton Halton Brant Tourism. ITO team members Colleen Nolan and Stephen W. Tooshkenig hosted a breakout session discussing how to support Indigenous communities, culture, and peoples of Ontario through partnership, understanding and listening. Watch the virtual workshop recording here
Upcoming Workshop for Indigenous Operators:
Tourism Business Development Certificate
Indigenous Tourism Workshop Series
Interested in attending or having your employees attend a custom workshop designed for the Indigenous tourism industry?

The Indigenous Tourism Series Workshops are now available on a self taught online platform through OTEC. The Indigenous Tourism Series Workshop falls under the second fire of the Three Fires Collaborative Quest, which provides customized frontline training for 100+ Indigenous tourism employees. Workshops can be hosted in-person, virtually, or self taught.

The Indigenous Tourism Series Workshop includes three different trainings:

  • Service Excellence
  • Leading for Excellence
  • Coaching for Excellence

If you are interested in having yourself, your employees, or a group certified, please contact IBA@IndigenousTourismOntario.ca.

If you are interested in the self taught virtual trainings, please follow the instructions here: 
OTEC Registration“.

Free Online Food Tourism Training Course by CTA & OTEC
The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA), in partnership with OTEC, has created a brand-new, free blended suite of online and instructor-led training program for hospitality businesses to better leverage the power of food tourism in Ontario. Food tourism is one of the fastest growing forms of tourism and a powerful driver for sustainable economic development in our region and beyond. Restaurants are an important part of the tourism industry in Ontario. Learn how local sourcing, storytelling and partnership can help grow your business and attract more people to Ontario. To learn more and to enroll please click here.
Tools for Communities Workshop
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Time: 9:00-10:00am ET

Join Northern Policy Institute for a workshop on their Tools for Communities! Learn about the resources that you can access through their website that promote information sharing and provide you with a better understanding of your local area and the rest of Northern Ontario. Data collection and analysis can seem pretty daunting to people and organizations that don’t often work with data. This workshop will showcase not only how to use data, but what data is available. People of all skill levels are encouraged to register!
Are you Hiring in the Tourism Industry?
ITO is currently looking for employers in the hospitality and tourism industry to match various Indigenous job seekers with jobs in these areas. To participate in the program, you must be a tourism business in Ontario, and you must be willing to support your new employee’s training and development in collaboration with the Three Fires program.


Next Steps of Reopening
Effective March 1, 2022:
  • Ontario has lifted capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings and has lifted proof of vaccination requirements for all settings at this time. Businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination. Masking requirements will remain in place at this time.

Effective March 14, 2022: 
  • Mandatory vaccination policy for employees in long-term care homes is lifted 
  • Unvaccinated workers in hospitals and other high-risk healthcare settings will no longer have to partake in regular rapid testing 
Effective March 21, 2022: 
  • Masking requirements will be removed in most settings including: schools, restaurants and bars, gyms, movie theatres, shopping centres, etc. 
  • Remaining measures in schools including cohorts and on-site symptom screening are removed 
  • Remaining regulatory requirements for businesses are removed, including passive screening and having a COVID-19 safety plan 
Effective April 27, 2022: 
  • Mask requirements are removed in all remaining settings 
  • All remaining orders under the Reopening Ontario Act expire 
  • Remaining health-care directives are lifted, however, the government will still direct health-care workers to wear personal protective equipment 
  • After this date, masks will not be mandatory but will be encouraged and highly recommended for those who are immunocompromised, at high risk, or who choose to still use them.
The Art of David Maracle
“It’s tiny, and it’s powerful,” says Mohawk Haudenosaunee artist and musician David Maracle of his Eagle POD Gallery. Housed on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in the Bay of Quinte area of southeastern Ontario, the gallery is about 2.5 hours east of Toronto and 3.5 hours southwest of Montreal. At just 240 square feet, this micro gallery is an incredible treasure trove of Maracle’s work, which is found in private collections and galleries around the world. Read more about David’s story here.
March Break Adventures with Indigenous-Owned Companies
If you’re looking for family fun in the great outdoors, these snowy destinations offer plenty of options for every kind of adventure. Northern Ontario winters boast plenty of fresh snow, clean air, beautiful scenery and outdoor adventures—no wonder playing outside delivers an unbeatable mental health boost. This March Break, try a new-to-you form of outdoor rec and adventure travel or revisit an old favourite with these 6 Indigenous-owned and operated experiences!
Why Incorporation Worked for Me
The Sharing Circle’s fourth blog post is live! Written by ITO’s Indigenous Business Advisor Scott Mercs, this story recounts why incorporation worked for his small business. 

The Sharing Circle is a space for long form blog posts about Indigenous tourism business development. Through the power of storytelling and sharing lessons learned, our authors will recount tourism-related tales from their perspectives to educate, celebrate, and ignite conversation amongst the ITO community. 

 Check out The Sharing Circle blog here!

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

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