Each year, RTO 9 works with a selected group of tourism operators and stakeholders in a Partnership Funding program. We are pleased to continue in this program, designed to enhance experiential tourism across South Eastern Ontario. These partnerships further our collective success in attracting tourists, (visitors that are travelling more than 40 km) to the South Eastern Ontario region, grow revenue for businesses, and foster strategic alliances.
The Partnership Fund is not a grant or sponsorship, it is a partnership!
The process starts with the announcement of the intake of applications for projects that will be occurring in our next fiscal year. If the project aligns with our upcoming business plan, then it may be considered for matching funding.
Partners who are awarded funding through the 50/50 Partnership Funding program, will receive more than just money to help them in their project goals. In addition to funding, RTO 9 provides partnership building, experiential tourism development, and guidance in Digital Marketing.
Here is a list of the awarded partnership funding programs we have supported for this fiscal year 2020/2021:
Project Name: Experiential Tourism Development Strategy
This RTO 9 Partnership Funded project will play an important role in supporting the creation of new tourism products and initiatives. Project milestones include mapping tourism assets, developing a multi-year experiential tourism strategy, Facilitate SPARK Bay of Quinte, and develop a toolkit with industry consultants and regional stakeholders
Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours
The Travel Media Partnership will help fund region-wide and multi-destination itineraries, to increase the economic tourism value to the region. The funding will also facilitate working with an expanded number of partners in the region on a coordinated approach that aligns planning and product development. Increased emphasis will be made on driving traffic and awareness during shoulder season.
Project Name: Experience The County
Experience The County is a product and service development program that focuses on innovation and growth through enhanced visitor services and experiential tourism product design and development. The RTO 9 Partnership Funding contributes to hiring consultants to train local businesses in experiential tourism.
Project Name: Love Kingston Marketplace
The Love Kingston Marketplace is a key asset for Kingston’s hyperlocal tourism focus for the Summer. This campaign is a way to support the local community, protect jobs, start economic recovery safely – extension of “shop local”. It will also leverage the “Love Kingston” campaign recently launched in support of food and retail businesses. RTO 9 Partnership Funding were utilized for the design and project management of the campaign.
Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours
Partnership Funding awarded to Tourism Kingston will assist in engaging social media influencers as part of the media mix providing an authentic and compelling way to raise awareness and the profile of the Kingston area. In 2020-21, Tourism Kingston will undertake a regional earned media strategy to enhance in-house knowledge and engagement techniques; develop and define policies, procedures, analytics; and execute two comprehensive earned media programs for social media influencer engagement alongside planned marketing campaigns in the Quebec and Ontario markets.
Project Name: Tourism Strategy
The creation of a tourism strategy will provide guidance on tourism development in North Grenville. At the doorstep of Ottawa, which recently hit 1,000,000 population, they are perfectly situated to welcome visitors to eastern Ontario. The RTO 9 Partnership Funding will contribute to hiring a consultant to create a tourism strategy.
Project Name: Voyageur Canoe Adventure
The Thousand Islands Boat Museum applied to RT09 for Partnership Funding to help bring The Voyageur Canoe Adventure experience to life. The tours feature a lively exploration of nearby islands and river pathways, with a focus on the historical aspects of river life and travel by Indigenous peoples as well as early European settlers. The adventure is supplemented with a professionally designed interactive exhibit in the Boathouse.
Project Name: Headlands Workshops & Event Series
The Hopes & Harvest Event will be taking place in the Fall of 2020. Plans include kayaking excursions, walking trails, outdoor cooking, farm exploration and general “getting back to nature.”
Project Name: Downtown at Dusk Festival
Al Fresco on Front – Summer in the Downtown District. Locals & visitors are encouraged to enjoy the downtown outdoor space with physical distancing in place. To make downtown an attraction for local tourists, this initiative will be used with the – “Meet Us Here” Campaign by Bay of Quinte Marketing Board.
Project Name: Enchanted Night Market -TBA
Project Name: Open Farms
Open Farms educates consumers about small scale agriculture, increases awareness of farms in Frontenac, provides the opportunity for producers to connect directly with consumers, and provides the opportunity for producers to gain new long-term customers while growing Frontenac’s reputation as a region that produces good food.
The Open Farms event which received funding last year was to be expanded upon for 2020. As it became apparent that holding this “live” would not be an option during the pandemic, RTO 9 approved the decision to move to a virtual platform.
Project Name: Cataraqui Boatyard Project
The overall goal of the Cataraqui Boatyard Project (sub-group of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour) is, through living history projects, to educate and excite the public about Canada’s oldes continuous boat building location – Kingston Inner Harbour. Each year, a replica will be made of one of Canada’s historic boats – beginning in 2020 with a community build of an authentic Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe by canoe builder Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper.
Project Name: Kick & Push Festival
COVID-19 has posed some challenges, but festival creators prefer to see them as opportunities! Social distancing has created the need to rethink and recreate the hugely popular festival designed to create an intimate and personal atmosphere for live theatre enthusiasts. Turning to a live digital platform was the only way to go and pivoting mid-stream in the festival production cycle requires a dedicated and resourceful team. RTO 9’s Partnership Funding is helping to cover production, actor and social media marketing costs associated with the festival.
Project Name: Comedy Country
Comedy Country is an annual event that typically brings top-notch comedians from Toronto and elsewhere to perform in distinctly rural performance venues. While COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in this year’s events, necessity is the mother of invention and a new plan has been put in place. A series of fun events in unusual places throughout Prince Edward County is planned for this fall.
Project Name: 2020 Music on the Dock
Always adept at improvising, the Thousand Islands Foundation for the Performing Arts will bring live events to the Gananoque area this fall. The intention of this series is to remind people both of the impact of live music and the breadth of talent that exists in the community. Plans include a series of community events set in open-air spaces throughout Gananoque.
Travel Media Shows/Fam Tours
1000 Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP) high-level objective is to build on the robust media and travel trade strategy in the 1000 Islands area with increased regional provincial, national and international awareness. TIAP’s presence at all Destination Canada and OTMPC supported Travel Media events including GoMedia, Rendezvous, International Media Marketplace New York and Travel Media Association of Canada are a vital tool in building tourism. FAM (familiarity) tours are also a key factor in getting the tourism message out to potential visitors and many targeted FAM’s occur throughout the year to capitalize on tourism throughout the year. Partnership Funding assists TIAP in covering costs associated with attending these shows and hosting FAM tours.
If you have any questions or would like to start a conversation around eligibility and project scope, please contact our Operations Manager, Lori McIsaac at email@example.com.