TORONTO – Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19.
This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through, and other innovative experiences.
Organizers will develop programs like virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve displays lighting up iconic buildings.
Details were provided on October 8 by 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,” she said.
Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications, and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures. The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1, 2020.
• The Reconnect Festival and Event Program is open to organizers with a minimum $50,000
operating budget and the capacity to safely reconnect Ontarians with their communities.
• This year, through Celebrate Ontario, the government invested $9.75 million to support more than 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, including Blockbuster events.
Clay Charters, President & CEO, The Original Santa Claus Parade, said: “In a truly difficult year, the Santa Claus Parade has been more focused than ever on bringing holiday experiences to families.
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. In the meantime, the support of our sponsors, partners, and government would ensure that Santa will still come to town.”