Canada invests in signature Edmonton summer festival and in tourism experiences in Alberta

Prairies Economic Development Canada

Funding includes $10 million to expand inclusive programming and support initiatives ensuring the future sustainability of Edmonton’s K-Days and more than $7.5 million to help 29 tourism projects enhance tourism experiences to attract more visitors to Alberta

The Government of Canada is providing $10 million to Explore Edmonton to help ensure one of Edmonton’s premier summer fair remains a key part of the city’s cultural tapestry and continues to drive the city’s economy forward. In addition, PrairiesCan is investing more than $7.5 million, through the Tourism Relief Fund and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, to support 29 tourism projects. Combined, this investment of more than $17.5 million will help tourism operators launch new or enhanced experiences and develop long-term strategic plans that ensure the continued growth of the tourism sector in Alberta.

Funding for projects is allocated through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) or the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative

The MFESI supports major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers. PrairiesCan announced funding today for:

  • Explore Edmonton ($8,000,000)

    Adapt and enhance the K-Days annual summer festival to ensure it is viable into the future including adapting the use of technology, expanding outdoor spaces and developing inclusive programming.

Tourism Relief Fund

Launched in July 2021, the TRF helps organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements and offer new or enhanced innovative products and services to help the sector attract more domestic and international visitors and prepare for future growth. Today, 23 Alberta TRF projects receiving funding through PrairiesCan were announced:

  • Aurora Backcountry ($99,987)

    Develop itineraries and an app to support the Aurora Backcountry Pass, a program that provides adventure enthusiasts (primarily skiers and snowboarders) with affordable access to guided backcountry experiences in Alberta and British Columbia.

  • SkiBig3 ($99,999)

    Develop digital content that highlights new tourism products in the Banff/Lake Louise region to rebuild consumer confidence and generate visitor demand.

  • Can Golf Limited ($99,999)

    Purchase and install state-of-the-art equipment to upgrade attractions at an indoor recreation and entertainment facility in Canmore, Alberta.

  • Canadian Badlands Passion Play Society ($498,663)

    Construct and open the Badlands Arts Centre to support a culinary tourism strategy and year-round cultural events at the Badlands Amphitheatre in Drumheller, Alberta.

  • Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta ($500,000)

    Develop 20 bilingual tourism routes in Alberta, and assist two Indigenous artisan entrepreneurs in converting their businesses into viable tourist attractions that highlight cultural heritage.

  • Downtown Business Association of Edmonton ($300,000)

    Deliver Downtown Spark, a 10-day event comprised of outdoor experiences and exhibits in downtown Edmonton.

  • Explore Edmonton ($2,000,000)

    Support redevelopment of Klondike Park to reposition the site as a year-round destination designed for community use, events, and outdoor gatherings while honouring its legacy and history as the site for K-Days and other events significant to Edmonton.

  • Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd. ($99,999)

    Enhance train platforms to improve the accessibility of attractions and space available to passengers.

  • Indigenous Tourism Alberta ($1,800,000)

    Provide product development support, professional development training and workshops, and promotion of Indigenous tourism businesses in Alberta.

  • Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association ($126,199)

    Design, develop, and deliver authentic Indigenous cultural experiences in collaboration with Indigenous artisans and tourism operators in the Lac La Biche area.

  • Lake Louise Ski Area ($99,999)

    Expand an integrated and bilingual digital sales platform for all Lake Louise Ski Resort activities.

  • Anderson Vacations ($99,999)

    Create key positions to support the development and promotion of unique and Indigenous tourism experiences across Canada.

  • Norquay Mystic Ridge Ltd. ($99,999)

    Extend the Via Ferrata, a hands on assisted climbing experience located at Mount Norquay, to make the experience more easily accessible and attract more climbers to the mountain in the summer season.

  • Painted Warriors Ltd. ($40,000)

    Construct a guest check-in centre where visitors can make arrangements for unique cultural and adventure experiences as well as view and shop for authentic Indigenous products made by local Indigenous artisans.

  • Prime World Tours Ltd. ($99,999)

    Develop and market new winter tours that increase off-season winter visitation by taking national and international tourists on a guided route from the coast of British Columbia to the Rocky Mountains and then the Northwest Territories.

  • The Launch at Sylvan Lake Inc. ($99,999)

    Revitalize the interior and exterior of the main launch building at the Sylvan Lake Marina to improve functionality, appearance and patio gathering spaces.

  • Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) ($499,800)

    Develop and implement an Alberta Tourism Labour Capacity Strategy to address industry labour shortages and support the recovery and sustainable growth of Alberta’s visitor economy.

  • Travel Drumheller Marketing Association ($295,000)

    Develop training activities and a long-term destination development strategy that helps tourism businesses better meet the needs of domestic and international visitors so they book longer stays in the Drumheller region.

  • Uplift! Jasper Mural Festival Ltd ($91,460)

    Develop four murals by Canadian artists as part of the inaugural two-week festival in downtown Jasper.

  • University of Alberta ($500,000)

    Enhance outdoor culinary tourism experiences at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden by introducing a new dining service in geodesic domes nestled in the garden, attracting visitors in winter and shoulder seasons.

  • Westar Travel Ltd. ($500,000)

    Create and market new guided tours via a new integrated digital system, including a mobile app, for authentic cultural and natural experiences in the Alberta region.

  • WowBanff Transportation Inc. ($98,750)

    Develop a multi-language, hop-on, double-decker bus tour in the Banff region and create a new Moraine Lake tour in collaboration with local Indigenous groups.

  • Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Ltd. ($225,000)

    Improve the inclusivity of eco-tourism experiences by creating accessible facilities including paths, enclosure entries and an outdoor event space.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the RRRF is assisting businesses and organizations across Canada to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic. Through the RRRF, the Government of Canada is providing over $2 billion to help keep people employed, and to sustain employers for recovery. 25% of the Fund was targeted to support the tourism sector. Seven Alberta RRRF recipients receiving funding through PrairiesCan were announced today:

  • Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association ($229,000)

    Deliver business supports to help Alberta accommodation businesses develop COVID-19 health and safety protocols and reduce insurance costs.

  • Alberta Professional Outfitters Society ($23,228)

    Deliver an enhanced online platform to support business services for members and strengthening Canadian-focused promotions for Alberta’s outfitting sector to help offset the impact of international travel restrictions.

  • Alberta Small Brewers Association ($35,000)

    Develop a COVID-19 safety pledge and launch a comprehensive promotional campaign that increases consumer confidence in the Alberta hospitality industry.

  • Calgary Convention Centre Authority ($142,778)

    Implement enhanced health and safety measures to build consumer confidence in the safety of events and activities hosted at Calgary’s TELUS Convention Centre.

  • Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta ($100,000)

    Coach francophone businesses operating in Alberta’s tourism industry to enhance digital marketing, e-commerce and video creation skills to help these businesses recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Explore Edmonton Corporation ($400,000)

    Develop a digital training platform for staff and suppliers to digitize sales activities, and obtain an international bio-risk cleaning accreditation to build consumer confidence for events at the Edmonton Expo Centre and the Edmonton Convention Centre.

  • Foothills Tourism Association ($229,500)

    Develop digital technology tools that enable farmers and businesses to set-up direct consumer sales to encourage visitation to agri-tourism initiatives in the Foothills region of Alberta.

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