The Ontario government is making an investment of $9 million in an effort to safely reconnect Ontarians with their communities by supporting municipalities and event organizers across the province during COVID-19.
The new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will maintain public safety requirements and give people the opportunity to safely reconnect with their communities through various innovative experiences, such as online and drive-thru events.
“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries at Ontario Place. “This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer.”
Program organizers will be cultivating creative events such as virtual Remembrance Day celebrations, reverse holiday parades with drive-by stationary floats, drive-in movies and concerts, holiday tree lightings, and New Year’s Eve demonstrations that light up iconic buildings in local communities.
“Programs like this funding could help us adapt and reimagine ourselves, until we can be back on the street in front of millions again in the future,” said Clay Charters, President & CEO of The Original Santa Claus Parade. “In the meantime, the support of our sponsors, partners and government would ensure that Santa will still come to town.”
The Reconnect Festival and Event Program is available to organizers with an operating budget of $50,000 at minimum, and the capacity to be able to safely rejoin Ontarians with their local communities.
The application for the program will be open from from October 8 to December 1, and can be found here.