Government of Canada supports Wellington County and Guelph through the Tourism Relief Fund

Posted On Tuesday November 01, 2022

WELLINGTON COUNTY, ON  On September 30, the Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4) announced funding for 75 tourism businesses and organizations in Guelph, Wellington County, Waterloo Region, Perth County and Huron County. RTO4 received $5 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund, to help local tourism organizations and businesses safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for future growth.

The tourism sector is vital to the economy and jobs in Wellington County and Guelph. As such, the region received nearly $800,000 from RTO4 to support 16 area businesses and organizations to help them adapt and recover, attract new visitors and drive economic growth in the region. Projects supported are described, as follows:

  • 10C Shared Space: Create flexible and inclusive indoor-outdoor gathering spaces, including accessible washroom improvements.
  • Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity: Create moveable plays, telling stories collected along the Grand River.
  • City of Guelph: Develop an evidence-based, sustainable tourism plan centred on the city’s unique cultural and sport assets.
  • Corporation of the Township of Mapleton: Modernize operations and online sales services at the theatre venue.
  • County of Wellington: Develop a tourism strategy based on research and market analysis.
  • Fergus BIA: Implement a strategy to activate and animate the downtown core in Fergus with infrastructure around the Provost Lane Street Closure necessary to allow for outdoor dining and activities.
  • Fergus Scottish Festival: Modernize operations and support greening initiatives for the Fergus Scottish Festival.
  • Grand River Agricultural Society: Support a greening initiative through the installation of 14 EV charging stations.
  • Guelph and District Multicultural Festival: Support new tourism experience development and enhancements of the 2022 Guelph and District Multicultural Festival.
  • Guelph Film Festival Inc.: Modernize operations for the Guelph Film Festival to present engaging hybrid offerings.
  • Guelph Jazz Festival: Support new tourism experience development and enhancements of the 2022 Guelph Jazz Festival.
  • Hillside Community Festival of Guelph: Modernize operations and install high-speed network cables to provide Wi-Fi access for attendees for information and photo sharing and to vendors for cashless purchases.
  • Southwestern Ontario Film Alliance: Discover the assets and identify gaps in the labour market, policies, infrastructure, locations and the resources required to develop jobs and spur regional economic development in the lucrative film and television production industry.
  • The Fieldstone Barn: Support a new tourism experience with the development of an agri-tourism farm-to-table event in Elora.
  • The Guelph Games: Support new tourism experience development and animate the downtown core through activations during the 2022 Guelph Games.
  • Wellington Brewery: Support new tourism experience development and seasonal dispersion through the re-launch of the Guelph Beer Bus.


“The Government of Canada’s $78-million investment through the Tourism Relief Fund is helping communities across southern Ontario. With this funding, southern Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations and Indigenous Tourism Ontario are providing hundreds of local businesses and organizations with the support they need to create jobs, attract more visitors and grow local economies, now and into the future.”

-          The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“The support provided to Guelph through the Tourism Relief Fund is positively impacting both tourism businesses and organizations, with immediate benefits for tourism experiences and long-term planning to help bolster the local industry for years to come.”

-          Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“We are very grateful for the financing provided by the Tourism Relief Fund. For the County of Wellington, the funding allows us to advance a tourism strategy, which will help us strengthen our tourism brand and offerings.”

-          George Bridge, Wellington County Economic Development Committee Chair

"We're very excited to see so many innovative ideas put forward by organizations across Guelph and Wellington County that are being made possible by the Tourism Relief Fund. The future of tourism in our region is strong and the City of Guelph is looking forward to engaging our community in the sports and culture strategy work, 'Create, Play, and Stay.'"

-          Alex Jaworiwsky, Manager of Tourism and Destination Development, City of Guelph

“We are immensely grateful to the Government of Canada and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for this critical support for the tourism industry. These projects announced today will make an impact on local businesses and organizations, in both the short and long term, on the road to recovery and reimagination by allowing stakeholders to make strategic investments in product and destination development.”

-          Andrea Gardi, Executive Director, RTO4


Media Contacts

  • Christina Mann, Economic Development Officer, County of Wellington,
  • Alex Jaworiwsky, Manager - Tourism & Destination Development, City of Guelph,
  • Edward Hutchinson, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario,
  • Andrea Gardi, Executive Director, RTO4,

Quick Facts

  • RTO4’s mission is to develop, enhance and strengthen a results-oriented and sustainable tourism economy through strategic industry partnerships.
  • The Government of Canada’s $5-million investment in RTO4 is part of an over $78-million investment for ITO and RTOs in southern Ontario.
  • The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario.

Associated Links

About RTO4

Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc. was incorporated in October 2010 as part of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism’s request to build and support a competitive tourism industry in the region. RTO4 supports Wellington County, Waterloo Region, Perth and Huron County in developing and implementing the best destination management tactics to encompass the diverse interests of the area and grow the tourism economy. 

About FedDev Ontario

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909