Join ITO’s Indigenous Business Advisory Program

Launched at the beginning of March, ITO’s new IBA Program aims to deliver one-on-one business support services to 100 eligible ITO members. Tailored to each business’ identified needs, Indigenous Business Advisors (IBAs) will work directly with our members to provide resources, coaching, mentorship, and support. IBAs will serve as a single point of contact to help tourism operators access and navigate financial resources, business planning tools, training and skills programs, marketing opportunities and more. Learn more about the program details including eligibility and benefits here. 

We invite our members to fill out the 5 minute online application to join the IBA Program and access these services free of charge.

Mar 31st Deadline Approaching:
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
2 weeks left to apply for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant Program.
If you require assistance with the application process, ITO’s Indigenous Business Advisors (IBA) are here to help tourism operators identify eligibility, access and navigate financial resources and utilize business planning tools. For immediate support, please contact us at

Ontario Small Business Support Grant
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020. This program will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.

Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support
This is a one-time grant of up to $1000 for eligible businesses with 2-19 employees. Sectors include retail, accommodation and food services, and more.

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants
This grant will cover the entire length of time that public health restrictions are in place for municipal and education property taxes and energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil).
The 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program is Open for Applications

The Ontario government has announced the launch of the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program for eligible festivals and events taking place between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. The Ontario government is investing $20 million to provide support to event organizers who are finding new, exciting and engaging ways to deliver local programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to support festival and events in Ontario that will:

  • Provide safe experiences that encourage people to rediscover the beauty and diversity of Ontario’s communities
  • Draw attendees, whether in-person or virtually
  • Provide a positive economic impact
  • Provide job opportunities for Ontarians in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors
  • Increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or broadcast exposure to instill interest in future travel to the province once it is safe to do so

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program is Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 5pm EDT.



ITO 2021 Membership Program
Join Us! ITO welcomes any person or organization that has an interest in advancing Indigenous tourism in Ontario to become a member. Learn about membership benefits in our 2021 Membership Program and register by March 31, 2021 for free membership. Existing members will be auto renewed. Register now.
Indigenous Experience Ontario
Destination Ontario Presents: Google My Business
Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Time: 9:30 – 11:00am EST

Learn how to optimize your digital presence in this free tourism-focused webinar hosted by Destination Ontario. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to promote your business profile and website on Google Search and Maps. With your GMB account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your business profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google. Join experts Donna Chang and Jenny Vincent to learn how to take full advantage of the following tools: Google My Business, Mobile Site Speed, Google Analytics, Google Ads and Google’s Guide for Small Businesses.
Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience Spring Session
Join ITO at the upcoming Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience Spring Session on March 23rd – 25th, 2021!

In 2020 the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, a quintessential Canadian experience launched a fully virtual event called The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience (RAVE). Last fall, ITO showcased Indigenous food tourism experiences in Ontario to a RAVE audience of over 24,000 people. Join us for the RAVE Spring Session from March 23-25 in our virtual booth for more authentic Indigenous experiences including hunting, fishing, and culinary videos, Indigenous virtual marketplace, and more. Elsewhere on the platform, visitors of all ages have the opportunity to “Get Agricultured” through premium, live online experiences that showcase the best in Canadian food, agriculture and equestrian talent.

Check out participating ITO members and culinary partners here and follow ITO on social media for updates on the RAVE Spring Session! 
Feast On 101
Looking to learn more about Feast On Certification & the Great Taste of Ontario? The Feast On 101 video is now available for viewing. Feast On is a certification program that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing and celebrating Ontario grown food & drink.
Safe Travels Stamp
Tourism marketing in the era of COVID-19 will be centred upon rebuilding the confidence and trust of travellers with compassion and reassurance. Key marketing messages will focus on health and hygiene and will clearly communicate what steps tourism operators have taken to ensure the safety of their visitors. ITO highly encourages our members to strive for traveler confidence; one way to ensure your business is following safety standards and effectively communicating those standards to potential visitors is having the Safe Travels Stamp. Watch the full recording of the Safe Travels Stamp informational webinar to learn more.


Ontario Establishes Tourism Economic Recovery Task Force
The Ontario government announced the new Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force. It will be chaired by former MPP and Cabinet minister Tim Hudak, and give expert advice and recommendations on rebuilding and reshaping the future of tourism. The mandate of the voluntary task force includes providing strategies informed by sector partners that will help position Ontario and its local communities as destinations of choice for travel, as well as identifying products and experiences that enhance destination development. The task force will deliver a report with its recommendations to the minister in spring 2021. Read the full news release here.

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

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