Government of Canada Invests in Western Canada tourism

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Federal Tourism Strategy to create tourism jobs for the middle class in communities across the country

September 9 – Tourism is an inclusive sector that showcases Canada’s culture, diversity, natural beauty, and unique experiences to the world. It also delivers economic benefits across the country by supporting one in 10 jobs. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in our tourism sector’s businesses and assets.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced funding of more than $11 million to support 65 tourism projects across Western Canada. These investments are being made through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF), which supports Canadian businesses and organizations seeking to create, improve, or enhance tourism products, facilities, and experiences.

The projects announced today will advance all five targeted tourism activities, including:

  • winter and shoulder-season;
  • Indigenous tourism;
  • inclusiveness, especially for the LGBTQ2 community;
  • rural and remote communities; and
  • farm-to-table, also known as culinary tourism.

Government of Canada funding ensures Canadians and visitors to Canada will be able to experience the best of what Western Canada has to offer, not just in summertime, but throughout the year.

The announcement also takes place in the wake of the announcement by Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, of Canada’s tourism strategy: Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Strategy, which was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country.


“Innovation doesn’t only happen in big cities; it happens all across Western Canada. That’s why we are helping local tourism businesses turn innovation into economic growth and good jobs for Canadians. Through the Canadian Experiences Fund, our government is investing in the development of our tourism sector and the economic potential of our vibrant communities.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“These investments will enable communities and businesses in Western Canada to develop tourism products and experiences to attract more tourists year-round. This will help communities big-and-small reap the benefits of the global tourism boom to diversify their economies and create good jobs for middle-class families while showcasing Canada’s brand, centred on shared values of diversity and equality.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • Tourism represents more than 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
  • Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada.
  • Regional development agencies, such as WD, are one of Canada’s four flagship platforms supporting innovation, along with the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fund and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.
  • By 2025, the Government of Canada is targeting revenue of $128 billion in the tourism sector, a 25% increase over 2018, and 54,000 new jobs (a 7.3% increase).

Investments to Create Jobs, Boost Tourism, and Help Entrepreneurs Across Western Canada


The Government of Canada funding announced today is provided through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) and supports Minister Joly’s recent announcement of the new tourism strategy: Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Strategy, which was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) delivers CEF in Western Canada.

The projects announced today include:

RecipientProject DescriptionLocationFunding
Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC Create business development and online tools to scale up Indigenous tourism businesses West Vancouver, BC Up to $150,000 
Alberta’s Food Incubation Hub Ltd. Develop facility to showcase local farm-to-table products, chefs, and businesses Edmonton, AB $99,999 
Anderseed Farms Ltd. Enhance tourism infrastructure and culinary experience in Sturgeon County Sturgeon County, AB $99,912 
Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada, A Fellowship of Aboriginal People Support tourism development for the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada Grande Cache, AB Up to $310,000 
Assiniboine Park Conservancy Inc. Support the creation of the Zoo Lights Festival at Assiniboine Park Winnipeg, MB Up to $380,000 
Barkerville Heritage Trust Expand Barkerville Historic Town & Park’s infrastructure and interpretive programming Barkerville, BC Up to $264,968 
Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Inc.  Develop Indigenous tourism cultural experiences in the Battleford area North Battleford, SK $200,000 
Beausejour Brokenhead Development Corp Implement the Beausejour Brokenhead Tourism Strategy Beausejour, MB Up to $60,000 
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Ltd. Revitalize Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Siksika, AB Up to $250,000 
Boston Bar First Nation Develop the Tuckkwiowhum Heritage Village attraction Boston Bar, BC Up to $158,000 
British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild Expand and promote the BC Ale Trail to attract domestic and international visitors North Vancouver, BC Up to $160,000 
British Columbia Wine Institute Society Develop a wine & food tourism chef exchange program Kelowna, BC Up to $250,000 
Canadian Badlands Passion Play Society Construct an event centre and renovate a commercial kitchen at the Badlands Amphitheatre Drumheller, AB $200,000 
Canadian Chili and BBQ Society Expand the Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ Langley, BC Up to $30,000 
Canadian Rockies Gay Rodeo Association Produce Canadian Rockies Rodeo North 2019 in Calgary, Alberta Calgary, AB $20,000 
Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council Deliver LGBTQ2 market-readiness workshops to western Canadian businesses Ottawa, ON Up to
Centre Communautaire d’Edmonton Expand the Flying Canoe Volant Festival by adding a race and skills competitions Edmonton, AB $130,000 
Community Futures Wild Rose Create agri-tourism experiences in Southern Alberta Strathmore, AB $99,575 
Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta Develop francophone and Indigenous tourism experiences in northern Alberta Bonnyville, AB Up to $131,250 
Dauphin Derailleurs Cycle Club Inc. Expand the multi-use bicycle trails in the Riding Mountain National Park area Dauphin, MB Up to
Eau Claire Distillery Ltd. Create unique farm-to-glass tourism experiences in rural Alberta Turner Valley, AB $99,999 
Edmonton Regional Airports Authority Deliver International Tourist Attraction and Indigenous Connections Program Edmonton, AB $400,000 
Fairy Tales Presentation Society Develop and implement a marketing strategy for the Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival Calgary, AB $75,000 
Farmery Estate Brewing Company Inc. Enhance the farm-to-table tourism experience at Farmery Estate Brewery Neepawa, MB Up to
Fort Nelson Events Society Develop winter tourism industry in Fort Nelson, BC Fort Nelson, BC Up to $200,000 
Friends of the Broadway Inc. To expand and diversify Winterruption, an arts and culture festival held in Saskatoon Saskatoon, SK $100,000 
Greater Victoria Visitors and Convention Bureau Develop four-season culinary and agri-tourism trail on the Saanich Peninsula Victoria, BC Up to $219,967 
Huu-ay-aht First Nation Expand and scale up the Pachena Bay Campground Port Alberni, BC Up to $244,000 
Indigenous Tourism Association Canada Develop Indigenous Tourism capacity in Western Canada Vancouver, BC $750,000 
Jack Millikin Centre Inc. Support facility heating  water, and septic system upgrades to the Jack Millikin Centre  Big River, SK Up to $100,000 
Jasper Pride Festival Society Produce the 2020 Jasper pride festival Jasper, AB $20,000 
Kelowna Pride Society Create OUT in the Valley culinary event to promote LGBT2Q+ tourism in the Kelowna area Kelowna, BC Up to $100,000 
La Société de Développement Économique de la Colombie-Britannique Develop four bilingual tourist experiences the Kooteney region Vancouver, BC Up to $205,500 
Meewasin Valley Authority Develop authentic Indigenous tourism experiences through on-line interpretive panels Saskatoon, SK $250,000 
Métis Nation of Alberta Association Design and deliver a culinary experience at Métis Crossing Smokey Lake, AB Up to $500,000 
MLTC Program Services Inc. Develop Indigenous tourism in the Meadow Lake Tribal Council region Meadow Lake, SK Up to $225,289 
Moose Jaw Pride Inc.  Develop a communications and marketing plan specifically for LGBTQ2+ visitors to Moose Jaw. Moose Jaw, SK $95,000 
New Westminster Tourism and Convention Development Association Scale up the Feast on the Fraser to attract domestic and international tourists New Westminster, BC Up to $100,000 
North Campervans Inc. Expand campervan fleet, marketing and customer service program Rocky View County, AB $99,999 
Old Red Barn Ltd. Expand rural agri-tourism at the Old Red Barn to include shoulder season events Leduc County, AB $97,500 
Painted Warriors Ltd. Expand the Painted Warriors Ranch facility to enhance visitor experience Cremona, AB $60,000 
Rebellious Unicorns Production Company Inc. Support Peak Pride events at Big White Resort, Sun Peaks Resort, Silver Star Mountain and Red Mountain Resort Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Rossland, BC Up to $93,800 
Regina Folk Festival Inc. Enhance and grow the Regina Winterruption Festival Regina, SK $95,000 
Saskatoon Diversity Network Hire a new staff person to oversee all research, collaboration and development of a new suite of LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous two spirit focused tourism products and procure professional services as appropriate, to help facilitate these efforts. Saskatoon, SK $100,000 
Saskatoon Fireworks Festival Inc. Develop and execute a new international lighting festival in Saskatoon Saskatoon, SK Up to $100,000 
Saskatoon Visitor and Convention Bureau Inc. Establish the Saskatoon Experience Development Investment Program. The objective is to increase the number of visits by independent tourists and trips organized by international tour operators. Saskatoon, SK $300,000 
Sea Wolf Adventures BC Inc Purchase a new vessel and conduct marketing activities to promote Indigenous tourism activities Port McNeil, BC Up to $99,000 
Silver Skate Festival Add culinary programming to the Silver Skate Festival Edmonton, AB $100,000 
Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society Improve the Southern Gulf Islands’ event coordination and transportation infrastructure Salt Spring Island, BC Up to $120,000 
Spearhead Huts Society Promote adventure tourism by completing the interior of the Kees and Claire backcountry hut in the Spearhead range Whistler, BC Up to $200,000 
Talon Point Camp Ltd Develop and complete the interior of Talon Point Camp in Burns Lake BC Burns Lake, BC Up to $44,998 
The Banff/Lake Louise Tourism Bureau Support expansion of a winter festival in Banff, Alberta Banff, AB $250,000 
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Promote the local culinary scene via the Juno Gala Celebrity Chef farm-to-table experience Saskatoon $150,000 
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada Deliver training to grow culinary, shoulder-winter season, and rural and remote tourism Western Canada $625,000 
The Vancouver Out on Screen Film and Video Society Scale up marketing for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival Vancouver, BC Up to $100,000 
Tourism Saskatchewan Implement import and market readiness activities in Saskatchewan Regina, SK $90,000 
Tourism Saskatchewan Expand and develop United States market for the Saskatchewan outfitting industry Regina, SK $150,000 
Town of Churchill Support the growth and coordination of the tourism industry in Churchill, MB Churchill, MB Up to
Town of Neepawa Develop the Neepawa Area Multi-Use Trail Park Neepawa, MB $150,000 
Travel Penticton Society Develop culinary tourism trails and support accessible farm-to-table tourism in the Penticton, Naramata, and Okanagan Falls areas Penticton, BC $112,500 
University of Saskatchewan/ Saskatoon Food Council Promote the local food trail Saskatoon, SK $60,000 
Vancouver Fireworks Festival Society Support inclusiveness initiatives at the Celebration of Light fireworks festival Vancouver, BC $185,000 
Vernon Winter Carnival Society Expand the Vernon Winter Carnival in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons Vernon, BC Up to $150,000 
Waskesiu Recreation Association Inc. Expand Waskesiu Lake Music Festival to showcase Indigenous programming Waskesiu Lake, SK $24,000 
White Rock Multicultural Society of BC Support multicultural festival with strong Indigenous participation White Rock, BC Up to $15,000 

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