Important Update on A Three Fires Collaborative Quest
Fire 1: Indigenous Business Advisory Program
ITO is committed to providing business support year-round through our IBA program. Whether you are in the start-up stages of your business or you are an established business looking to grow, our team can provide custom one-on-one advisory services throughout your business journey.  

Fire 2: OTEC and ITO’s Indigenous Tourism Workshop Series
To ensure accessibility, ITO is pleased to offer our workshops in-person, virtually or through self taught online courses.

Fire 3: TIAO and ITO’s Employer to Employee Job Matching
ITO is happy to announce that job matching and wage subsidies will continue until May 23, 2022. Employers must be registered in the program by March 31, 2022. To register please
sign up here.

If you have questions or are interested in any of these complimentary services, please contact IBA@IndigenousTourismOntario.ca.
Canada Digital Adoption Program
The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is designed to boost e-commerce presence and digitize how Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 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 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.


Sīgwan Festival
Date: March 25 – 27, 2022
Location: Mādahòkì Farm, 4420 West Hunt Club Road, Ottawa, ON K2R 1H4

Join Indigenous Experiences, producers of the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival and operators of Mādahòkì Farm in Ottawa’s greenbelt to celebrate the Spring Season. Everyone is invited to reconnect with the land while learning about Indigenous traditions during this beautiful change of season. Enjoy authentic Indigenous programming and an Indigenous Makers and Farmers Market, interactive creative workshops, culinary delights and meet the rare Ojibwe Spirit Horses – fun for young and old!
Upcoming Workshop:
Tourism Business Development Certificate
Limited to a maximum of 10 participants, Indigenous members are invited to attend this free, two day, in-person training to learn how to enhance your business from successful business owners within the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Training Overview
March 26, 2022 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Digitizing your Business/Social Media + Audience Engagement Tactics with facilitator Layla Black
  • Partnership Development Tactics with facilitator Conrad Bobiwash
  • Includes Lunch
March 27, 2022 9:30am-12:00pm
  • Visitor Services + Customer Relations with facilitator Jaquie Jamieson
To register, email: angelica.smith@theheartofontario.com by March 21st.
Bringing DEI to DMOs

Tuesday, April 13, 2022
Time: 12:00-1:00pm ET

Hosted by Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, this webinar features best practices of integrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) principles at the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) level. The session will begin with a presentation from Greg DeShields, Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters, after which Rebecca Godfrey will moderate a discussion with Explore Edmonton on the status of their journey to build a more inclusive tourism industry.
IMPACT Sustainability Conference

 May 8 – 11, 2022
Location: Victoria, BC

The tourism industry has the opportunity to impact global change and lead the world in a new age of environmental and social responsibility. The IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference 2022 is a national conversation on sustainable tourism, exploring and comparing models for tourism recovery. An opportunity to hear from some of the most creative and innovative experts in the business and address our new reality of higher expectations, for and of visitors.
 Register here.
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.
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.


VIA Rail Announces the Final Phase of its Gradual Service Resumption Plan
In response to the pandemic, VIA Rail reduced its service to only two trains per week on rural routes in Ontario, making it challenging for tourism operators to adjust and continue to offer vacations when other restrictions allowed for it. As of last week, VIA Rail has confirmed that additional services are expected to be added on the Sudbury to White River and other rural routes in April 2022 and again in June 2022. For up-to-date information on current services, visit here.
Next Steps of Reopening
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.
ITO President & CEO Becomes First Indigenous Person Appointed to Science North Board of Trustees
Congratulations to our President & CEO, friend and leader Kevin Eshkawkogan on his momentous appointment to the Science North Board of Trustees. Last week, Kevin became the first Indigenous person on the Board of Trustees in their 38 years of existence. Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction, inspiring people of all ages to be engaged with the science in the world around them through educational and entertaining science experiences while contributing to local and provincial economic growth. We at ITO know that Kevin’s wise, balanced, and diplomatic approach will add valuable perspective to the wonderful team and work at Science North & Dynamic Earth.
TJ Stables Presented with Innovative Experience of the Year Award
Congratulations to TJ Stables for winning the Ontario’s Southwest 2021 Innovative Experience of the Year award! On March 9, 2022, co-owners Terry Jenkins and John Basden were presented with this award for their Awaken Your Spirit initiative, which invites guests to experience the Ojibwe spirit horses at the stables. “We truly are honoured to be presented with this award. These little ponies have so much to share, and we are humbled to be able to be a part of something so unique,” Jenkins said in a news release. Read more here.
Wikwemikong Tourism Offering New Authentic Indigenous Culinary Experiences for 2022!
Wikwemikong Tourism has announced their new culinary experience offerings for 2022. Blazing the trail for Indigenous food tourism in Ontario, Wikwemikong tourism invites you to embark on a hike along the Bebamikawe Memorial Trail as you forage for edibles and natural ingredients used in your culinary experience. Engage your senses with seasonal edibles found on the forest floor combined with wild game, fish, birds and hot/cold teas. Prepared over the open fire at the newly constructed Outdoor Culinary Space, visitors will enjoy hands-on culinary experiences lead by your Indigenous guide while tasting traditional foods. Visit the Wikwemikong Tourism website to learn more! 

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

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