Toronto’s Field Trip Festival is back after a two-year hiatus, and this time, it’s virtual using a little help from the Ontario government.
On Friday, the province said they’re investing $7 million in 87 local and virtual events through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program.
“This funding will support the festival and event sector during COVID-19 while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences that allow people to reconnect with their communities,” the release notes.
Part of this initiative means helping support the Field Trip Life Launch, which includes live and virtual performances to launch the return of the Field Trip and FieldTripLife.com festival.
“The Reconnect program will play a vital role in our rebuilding efforts as a city and will provide a sense of relief for many of our event organizers and community groups across the city. By providing event organizers this funding, we can feel more confident that they can come back stronger and better once the pandemic is over,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.
“As part of our rebuilding efforts, we will rely heavily on the events that were essential to the vibrancy and livelihood of our city. I want to thank Minister MacLeod and the provincial government for providing this funding and for demonstrating their commitment to rebuilding the arts, culture and tourism sector in Toronto.”
In total, the Reconnect program is supporting more than 100 events and initiatives, including the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, Lights on Stratford, and The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience.
The provincial program was created to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has had an unprecedented, devastating impact on arts, tourism and culture in the province – our sectors were hit first, hit hardest, and will take the longest to recover,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
“It is critical that our government continues to support organizations that are finding new ways to engage with and reconnect Ontarians, while preserving jobs and supporting local economies. The Reconnect Festival and Event Program will help support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario.”
The 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program will open on March 17, 2021.