Ontario's Reconnect funding to assist tourism sector in Cornwall area

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A provincial investment of more than $7 million in 87 local and virtual events and initiatives through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program is being greeted enthusiastically in Cornwall and area.

“We were extremely excited to receive word about the funding,” said Kevin Lajoie, tourism officer for Cornwall. “We applied to the program in early December, and we were quite pleased to get the word that our application was successful. . . these initiatives are providing opportunities for people to connect with and experience their community in new and safe ways.”

The funding will support the festival and event sector during COVID-19 while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences. Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was joined by John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, to make the announcement.

In a news release, Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, said initiatives in Cornwall to be receiving funding support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, are Winter Activations in Cornwall, including Holiday Sparkle, a drive-through light show at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, winter activities in Lamoureux Park, and new snowshoe and fat bike trails in Guindon Park.

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Funding amounts for the individual locations and activities were not disclosed.

“Festivals and events like Winter Activations in Cornwall make important contributions to communities like ours, creating local jobs, boosting the economy and giving us all the opportunity to experience what Ontario has to offer right in our own backyard,” McDonell said.

Said Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement in the release: “We’re grateful to Minister MacLeod and the provincial government for supporting these local experiences which add to the vibrancy and social well-being of our community in a safe manner. . . these activities also help to raise Cornwall’s profile as a fun visitor destination once it is safe to travel again.”

Last December, the government announced an investment of more than $3.4 million to support the first 27 recipients through the Reconnect program.

The government said tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending.

thambleton@postmedia.com

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