Barrie Film Fest, Burl’s Creek summer concert series among recipients of one-time boost in festival and event funding

Queen's Park committing $43 million province-wide

Several local festival organizers will benefit from a one-time boost in tourism funding out of Queen’s Park.

The province announced on Wednesday it would contribute $43 million towards the festival and event sector, over double the amount usually earmarked. The funding promises to help recipient organizations present innovative and safe experiences.

“For more than a year, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture – two major industries that bring people together and our communities to life,” said Tourism and Culture Minister Lisa MacLeod. “Increasing our annual support for festivals and events will give the sector a much-needed boost as we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19. Our government is supporting organizations that are finding new ways to safely engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs.”

Local recipients of this funding include the Barrie Film Festival, with $23,500 coming its way. Penetanguishene’s Winterama will receive $21,500. The province has committed $250,000 to the Back to Burl’s Creek summer concert series, and $95,000 to Barrie’s Bees in the Bush Festival. Creative Collingwood will get $88,750 out of this boost in funding, while Oro-Medonte’s Dinner a la Art is to get $95,000. The Fire and Ice Festival in Bracebridge is to receive $23,550 and $250,000 is going towards Fire, Light and Ice in The Blue Mountains. Hello Winter in Barrie will get $120,000. Huntsville’s Festival of the Arts gets $140,000 in this deal, while the Huntsville Snowfest will see $54,575 rolling its way.

Money will be distributed through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, previously known as Celebrate Ontario prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.