ITO Launches Indigenous Business Advisory Program

ITO’s new IBA Program aims to deliver one-on-one business support services to 100 eligible ITO members.

Building on last year’s Business Support Broker Program and in keeping with our Guiding Principle of using an innovative grassroots approach, ITO has again commissioned a network of experts – Indigenous Business Advisors (IBAs) – to 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; tailored to each business’ identified needs. During the initial four-month IBA Program period, participating businesses can expect:

  • A dedicated ITO Business Advisor 
  • One-on-one coaching and mentorship 
  • A direct connection to current industry information including COVID-19 relief funding opportunities to meet your immediate business needs
  • Access to a comprehensive and up-to-date library of business resources 
  • Assistance locating, navigating, and understanding various resources and funding streams
  • Access to training for operators and their employees
  • Support in utilizing business planning tools and application writing 
  • Access to ITO and partner marketing initiatives 
  • A customized summary of recommendations and action plans developed collaboratively through the program
We invite our members to fill out the 5 minute online application to join the IBA Program and access these services free of charge.


Building Consumer Confidence with Safe Travels Stamp
1 day left to register for the Safe Travels Stamp informational webinar. 
Date: Thursday, March 4th, 2021
Time: 10:30 – 11:30am EST
Presented by: Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) 

The world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp is used in over 100 destinations worldwide including regions in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. In Canada, TIAO has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp.

ITO invites tourism operators across Canada to attend this information session and learn how this free certification will give you a competitive advantage. 

As travel slowly returns, we want you to be ready to operate and welcome guests when it is appropriate. Join us on March 4th to learn more about the Safe Travels Stamp Program and how you can provide travellers with the confidence that your business has the necessary measures in place for a safe visit.
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.


Undeniably Good Paint
“Art’s a window to anywhere; when you’re painting, you’re making a window into the world and you can see whatever you want through it,” says Anong Beam, owner of Beam Paints.

Manitoulin artist and ITO member, Anong, shares her story of becoming the only Indigenous paint manufacturer in Canada. In 2017, Beam Paints was born by taking traditional knowledge and applying it to paint-making. Since then, Beam Paints has been picked up by Chapters-Indigo which has given Anong the opportunity to support her community members with more employment opportunities. Bringing her culture to a mainstream brand like Chapters-Indigo also means she is showcasing Manitoulin and contributing to greater representation across Ontario. “I always love going into Chapters, but it felt a bit like another world because nothing really reflected where I come from. I’m happy to open up that sense of place in there. I hope Indigenous kids can go in and see something from their community,” says Anong.  
Feast Boxes Successfully Delivered over the Holidays
Over the holidays, Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) raised $57,000 to help support Indigenous People across Canada through the Feast Box project. The initiative successfully delivered 200 Indigenous meal kits, potentially serving up to 1,200 people in Toronto. Centennial College became a key partner in the venture providing space to prepare and assemble for delivery. Stemming from this partnership, Centennial is launching a new project in collaboration with the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, which distributed the holiday meals. This time, they’ll be “delivering between 100 and 200 loaves of beautiful fresh artisan bread baked on a weekly basis,” says Suzanne Caskie, chair of Food and Tourism Studies at Centennial College. Read the full article, here.

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

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