Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries funds a spectacular double bottom line that enables residents and visitors alike to experience the best of the world in one province. This contributes to building a strong innovative economy and supports diverse and thriving communities across Ontario.

The Ministry helps bring people together, showcases the authentic Ontario experience, and supports Ontario’s communities defined by a diversity of experiences, cultural heritage and people.

More specifically, the Ministry:

  • Funds cultural and tourism institutions and attractions (such as galleries, museums and parks) that celebrate Ontario’s history, heritage, traditions and cultural richness, and serve as economic and social drivers for local economie
  • Invests in community festivals and events that attract numerous visitors and businesses to the provinc
  • Contributes to a competitive business environment that stimulates economic activity and the creation of cultural conten
  • Builds a culture where people of all abilities can play sports more safely from the playground to the highest levels of success

This work drives billions of dollars in economic activity, creates thousands of jobs, boosts local economies and enhances quality of life in communities across the province. The Ministry helps Ontario’s communities succeed by showcasing their strengths to the world, driving regional growth and creating a dynamic environment where businesses and their employees can thrive.

COVID‑19 response

A COVID‑19 Economic Recovery Team was created to coordinate an integrated response and to support economic recovery from the impact.

To help identify opportunities for the Ministry to collaborate with its sectors on a sector-led response to the economic challenges caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Minister convened a number of ministerial advisory councils, including representatives from the agencies and attractions. Their input supports the assessment of the impact of COVID‑19 pandemic on each sector and potential innovative approaches each sector can undertake as it emerges from the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The Ministry has supported its sector partners as they have been responding to the COVID‑19 pandemic by:

  • Expediting the release of funding to public libraries, community museums, Regional Tourism Organizations, and agencies and attractions that had to adjust or reduce their operations and close their doors to protect public health
  • Simplifying grant application forms (e.g., for the Community Museums Operating Grant and the Public Libraries Operating Grant)
  • Deferring additional required documentation (e.g., audited financial statements) until later in the fiscal year, to reduce the burden for applicants and to continue to give them access to funding

The Ministry has also been working with partner ministries and hotel associations to identify opportunities to utilize available hotel capacity to support health care and other emerging needs.

Ministry programs

The Ministry delivers a number of programs to improve quality of life, promote economic growth and showcase Ontario by supporting and delivering tourism and cultural experiences, supporting the arts and cultural industries and championing participation and achievement in sport, recreation and other fields of endeavour across Ontario.

Investments in ministry programs drive economic growth in communities across the province, provide jobs and opportunities for people and help Ontario’s communities thrive and succeed.

Heritage, Tourism and Culture programs

The Ministry is responsible for strategic policy, programs and services, and research initiatives related to the arts, cultural industries, archaeology, museums, heritage, public libraries and tourism in Ontario.

The Ministry works with partners to:

  • Foster community capacity in the conservation of Ontario’s heritage
  • Raise the profile of Ontario as a province rich in cultural, heritage and archaeological resources
  • Encourage and promote Ontario’s cultural tourism products
  • Cultivate growth in creative industries such as film, television, book and magazine publishing, music recording and digital media to make Ontario a leader in the knowledge-based economy
  • Provide communities with greater access to information through their public libraries; attract private sector investment
  • Support regional planning and economic development through the Regional Tourism Organizations to build a stronger, more competitive tourism industry

Heritage Sector Support – The Ministry maintains core operating grant programs and provides advice and outreach to support museums, heritage organizations and municipalities to protect and preserve Ontario’s heritage resources. The Ministry supports its provincial agency, the Ontario Heritage Trust, administers the Ontario Heritage Act and licenses archaeologists.

Tourism Sector Support and Promotion – The Ministry provides a range of tourism sector supports and delivers a strategic set of coordinated programs and activities to maximize the industry’s growth and contribution to Ontario’s economy. These initiatives include targeted investments to attract or enhance festivals and events. This also includes focused planning and economic development activities through Regional Tourism Organizations. The Ministry works to maximize opportunities for growth and development through investment attraction, business advisory services, and tourism sector research, actively attracting and supporting private sector investment and development initiatives in Ontario.

Ontario’s Creative Economy Programs and Services – The Ministry provides grants and business development assistance to stimulate production, investment, job creation and growth in cultural media industries – film and television production, recorded and live music, book and magazine publishing and interactive digital media.

Cultural Media Tax Credits – The Ministry provides tax credit programs to incentivize production in the film and television, interactive digital media and book publishing industries to enhance Ontario’s competitiveness, stimulate job creation and investment and sustain sector growth.

Arts Sector Support – Through funding programs for artists, artist educators, not-for-profit organizations, training institutions and cultural tourism partners, the Ministry supports artistic creation and presentation, organizational development and training programs to create a competitive and skilled workforce.

Library Sector Support – The Ministry administers the Public Libraries Act, supports cooperation and coordination between libraries and library service boards, provides operating grant programs, project funding, advice and outreach to increase library sustainability and improve capacity while encouraging innovation. Programs help the province’s public and First Nations libraries and sector support organizations to deliver services and programs that are responsive to evolving local needs and help Ontarians learn and succeed in the knowledge-based economy.

Attractions and Agencies

The Ministry’s attractions and agencies showcase Ontario’s cultural diversity and creativity, as well as its history and cultural heritage, offering learning and entertainment opportunities in venues that have economic, social and historical value to communities and regions throughout the province. These entities promote the cultural fabric of Ontario as well as its economic growth and job creation by offering a range of educational, recreational, cultural and entertainment programs for residents and visitors.

The Ministry is responsible for agency relations, governance, appointments, and operating and capital funding for agencies and attractions within its portfolio while driving agency modernization and transformation initiatives.

The Ministry is also responsible for Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Park, two directly operated historic tourist attractions. Both Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Park act as significant regional economic catalysts through their roles as key tourism attractions, driving economic prosperity and building community partnerships by creating unique visitor experiences.

Sport and Recreation

The Ministry promotes a culture that values sport and physical activity and champions the social and economic benefits of active, engaged living for all Ontarians. The Ministry aims to increase capacity within the sport and recreation sector and provide opportunities for all Ontarians to enjoy the benefits of being physically active. It also celebrates Ontarians and promotes civic engagement by recognizing and honouring exemplary achievement.

Sport and Athlete Development – The Ministry provides support that enables growth of the sport sector, increases sport tourism, and provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to participate and achieve success. Investments in various programs foster opportunities to strengthen the sport sector and help ensure the sport system welcomes all Ontarians to play organized sport.

Through Sport and Athlete Development, the Ministry provides: funding to provincial and multi-sport organizations as the official governing bodies for their sport in Ontario in alignment with national standards; direct support to Ontario athletes enabling them to pursue athletic excellence at the highest levels; and funding to delivery partners for high performance programs and services, coach training and education building leadership in the sector.

Sport Events/Hosting – The Ministry provides support to national and international amateur sport events hosted in Ontario; the Ontario Games program that funds the delivery of five multi-sport games with an economic impact of over $15 million; and the Canada Games that are held every two years and are a celebration of youth, sport, culture and community.

Office of the Athletics Commissioner – The Ministry is responsible for the Office of the Athletics Commissioner, which oversees the rules and regulations governing professional boxing, mixed martial arts and kickboxing. These rules keep participants safe and ensure the integrity of the sports.

Recreation, Indigenous and Youth Support – The Ministry supports active recreation programs to better support organizations in the delivery of high-quality physical activity experiences that focus on improving physical literacy. The Ministry’s support is targeted to groups that lack equitable access to participate, including low-income persons, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.

Ontario Honours and Awards – The Ministry coordinates and delivers Ontario’s honours and recognition programs to recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of Ontarians for their service to their community.

COVID‑19 response

The Ministry undertook a number of program changes and actions in response to COVID‑19 outbreak, including:

  • Assisting public libraries, community museums and government agencies and attractions with sustaining them during this pandemic by expediting the release of their operating funding
  • Offering a simplified application form for the Community Museums Operating Grant and the Public Libraries Operating Grant, deferring additional required documentation (e.g., audited financial statements) until later in the fiscal year, to reduce the burden for applicants and to continue to give them access to funding
  • Expediting the release of funding to Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO) to ensure timely and seamless continuity of service. RTOs have been identifying impacts to tourism operators in regions across the province and sharing information and best practices with regional tourism operators to deal with the COVID‑19 impacts. RTOs are taking part in the Tourism Leaders Advisory Panel to discuss the impacts of COVID‑19 on the Tourism Industry and produce a report with recommendations for tourism industry recovery for government’s consideration
  • Working with partner ministries and hotel associations to identify opportunities to utilize available hotel capacity to support health care and other emerging needs
  • Establishing new ministerial advisory councils to provide expert advice on ways to recover from COVID‑19
  • Supporting sport and recreation program partners that have continued to deliver programming during the pandemic, using online platforms
  • Working with recreation program partners that have redeployed staff to services and activities that are helping Ontarians deal with the health, social and economic challenges of COVID‑19 (e.g., providing food for families, running programs for homeless youth, providing safe transportation for Indigenous elders to attend critical medical appointments)
  • Continuing to receive, process and review online nominations for honours and recognition programs, to support ceremony delivery through Ontario Honours and Awards, once permitted by public health
  • Following guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health on social distancing, 14 public-facing Ministry agencies, transfer payment recipients and attractions closed their facilities in mid-March 2020, including:
    • Art Gallery of Ontari
    • McMichael Canadian Collectio
    • Metro Toronto Convention Centr
    • Niagara Parks Commissio
    • Ontario Heritage Trus
    • Ontario Place Corporatio
    • Ontario Science Centr
    • Ottawa Convention Centr
    • Royal Botanical Garden
    • Royal Ontario Museu
    • Science Nort
    • St. Lawrence Parks Commissio
    • Fort William Historical Par
    • Huronia Historical Park
  • During this period of closure, the agencies and attractions are doing their part to continue to support the provincial response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, for example, by enhancing their online offerings (e.g., virtual museums and science curriculums) or donating personal protective equipment to hospitals to support front-line workers
  • The Ministry’s granting agencies (i.e., Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates and Ontario Trillium Foundation) are working with grant recipients to provide added flexibility to communities, non-profit organizations, professional artists, arts organizations, and the creative industries (film, television, music, book and magazine publishing and interactive digital media). These industries are reporting lost revenues, job impacts, suspension or significant disruption of production and performance activities, and disruption of supply chain and distribution channels
  • Destination Ontario, as the lead marketing agency for the Province, is developing a marketing plan that would support the economic recovery of the sector by driving and delivering tourism revenues and employment back to businesses across the province. Destination Ontario is collaborating with the industry, including Regional Tourism Organizations, destination marketing organizations, sector associations, Destination Canada, and other key tourism partners

2020-21 Strategic Plan

The Ministry contributes to the government’s priorities of growing the economy and creating new jobs within the context of the government’s strategy to restore trust and accountability in the province’s public finances and deliver programs and services in a way that ensures the best value for Ontarians.

The Ministry boosts Ontario’s economic growth and improves quality of life by promoting and delivering tourism and cultural experiences, supporting cultural heritage, arts and tourism industries, and championing participation in sport and recreation activities across Ontario.

Through its programs and investments, the Ministry ensures that it remains a powerhouse that fuels a double bottom line – both the financial bottom line and the equally important bottom line of the province’s cultural fabric and identity.

For 2020-21, the Ministry’s strategic plan includes the following key priorities and activities:

  • Increasing alignment and supporting initiatives that combine the power of tourism, culture and sport to attract visitors and businesses to Ontario and stimulate investment while enhancing the quality of life in communities in all regions of the province by:
    • Promoting Ontario as an investment destination to international private sector investors, leveraging Ontario’s wealth of arts, music, film and sporting talent, and positioning the province as a place that welcomes entrepreneurship
    • Supporting local tourism businesses and industry partners by providing funding to Regional Tourism Organizations to deliver regionally-based activities such as product development, workforce development, investment attraction and marketing
    • Continuing to support a wide range of high-quality, high-profile cultural tourism events and exhibitions, funded through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, that bring new visitors to communities across Ontario helping arts and culture organizations drive cultural tourism spending, creating new experiences and making the entire province a more attractive place to visit
    • Supporting multi-sport games and sport competitions hosted in communities across Ontario, including the Niagara 2021 Summer Canada Games and the Ottawa 2022 Valour Games, generating new economic activity at the local level.
    • Advancing on the commitment to a cost-shared investment of $29 million for the construction of new sport facilities for the Niagara 2021 Canada Games, which will support athletes, provide community recreation and bring new jobs to Niagara region
    • Showcasing to the world the diversity of the people, communities and natural beauty that make Ontario the best place to live, visit, do business and be an athlete in.
  • Supporting and promoting Ontario’s diverse communities, cultural fabric and identity by continuing to:
    • Make strategic investments to support the growth and sustainability of Francophone and Indigenous tourism in Ontario and collaborating across government and with industry partners to identify new opportunities to advance these and other priorities
    • Protect cultural heritage resources and provide supports to Ontario’s public libraries, museums and community projects
    • Raise awareness, accessibility and engagement by Ontarians in the arts and cultural life of their communities with Ontario Culture Days annual, free, three-day celebration
    • Recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of Ontarians
  • Contributing to the growth of the provincial creative economy and making Ontario a leader in cultural production by continuing to
    • Provide funding to companies and entrepreneurs seeking to develop and export the work of talented Canadian musicians, profiling Ontario on the world stage as well as supporting domestic production and music industry growth through the Ontario Music Fund
    • Stimulate interactive digital media, book publishing, and film and television production from North America and beyond through Ontario’s media tax credits
  • Promoting Ontario as a leader in sport and athlete development by continuing to
    • Champion active lifestyles and physical activity across the province
    • Increase opportunities to participate in sport and recreation for all Ontarians, from playground to podium
    • Promote the health and safety of athletes, including through continued implementation of Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 and other concussion and safety awareness initiatives.
  • Contributing to recovery from the impact of COVID‑19, including:
    • Supporting sport and recreation sector by:
      • Reducing burden related to reporting requirements and performance commitments (e.g., extensions on timelines)
      • Flexibility on funding that is refocused on COVID‑19 related activities (e.g., online programming)
  • Supporting culture sector by:
    • Continuing to support granting agencies (i.e., Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates, Ontario Trillium Foundation) that have introduced flexibility to their granting programs for 2020-21
    • Simplifying the application process for annual operating grants supporting the culture sector
    • Expediting release of annual Public Library Operating Grants, Pay Equity Grants and First Nation Salary Supplement Grants to almost 400 organizations
    • Expediting release of Community Museum Operating Grant funding to museums
    • Expediting Transfer Payment Agreements for Library Sector Support and Heritage Sector Support funding
    • Expediting release of funding to help sustain Provincial Heritage Organizations
    • Monitoring and reporting on impact of closures and cancelations
  • Supporting innovative tourism recovery projects and continuing to fund tourism industry associations through targeted funding aimed at industry capacity building and addressing the reduction in global travel as a result of COVID‑19
  • Supporting recovery efforts and the future sustainability of festivals and events across Ontario through the Celebrate Ontario program by investing in reprogrammed, reimagined or expanded events that will help to kick start visitation and economic recovery across Ontario
  • Leveraging provincial tourism and culture agencies and attractions to optimize their contributions to Ontario’s economic and social fabric and promote positive impacts on local economic development, jobs, investment and growth.
    • Engaging with these entities to understand the impact of COVID‑19 on their operations
    • Supporting the entities in controlling their costs and managing cashflows; providing ongoing operating support to sustain their operations, where applicable
    • Engaging with these entities to plan for sector recovery
    • Continuing support for Destination Ontario as it works to develop a marketing plan for Ontario tourism
  • Supporting the Ministry’s Ontario Live initiative by launching, a web-platform and bursary program that presents live streamed concerts from Ontario artists, in response to the COVID‑19 emergency. Ontario Live is intended to serve as a marketplace to support Ontario artists, attractions, festivals and other cultural industries.
Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2020-21 ($M)
COVID‑19 Approvals0.0
Other Operating1,532.4
Table 2: Combined Operating and Capital Summary by Vote
Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2019-20
Change from Estimates 2018-19
%Estimates 2018-19 footnote 1Interim Actuals 2018-19footnote 1
Actuals 2017-18footnote 1
Operating Expense
Ministry Administration Program
Sport, Recreation and Community Programs61,136,3002,020,9003.459,115,40059,115,40059,325,023
Heritage, Tourism and Culture Programs94,833,100(9,971,600)(9.5)104,804,700104,804,700136,172,328
Ontario Trillium Foundation Program103,497,000N/AN/A103,497,000103,497,000100,000,000
Ontario Cultural Media Tax Credits704,341,50090,200,30014.7614,141,200735,833,000627,822,379
Agency Program240,270,5005,357,4002.3234,913,100234,913,100249,204,963
Total Operating Expense to be Voted1,228,731,80085,953,1007.51,142,778,7001,269,689,0001,203,477,633
Statutory Appropriations99,36032,34648.367,01467,01478,061
Ministry Total Operating Expense1,228,831,16085,985,4467.51,142,845,7141,269,756,0141,203,555,694
Table 3: Operating Consolidation & Other Adjustments
Votes/ProgramsEstiamtes 2019-20
Change from Estimates 2018-19
%Estimates 2018-19footnote 1Interim Actuals 2018-19footnote 1
Actuals 2017-18footnote 1
Ontario Place Corporation10,190,000435,0004.59,755,00011,206,40011,127,105
Metro Toronto Convention Centre54,603,5001,616,5003.152,987,00053,532,90049,684,829
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation1,363,0002,437,900(226.8)(1,074,900)7,701,400(5,512,963)
Ontario Science Centre11,184,9003,577,60047.07,607,30012,423,4008,487,092
Ontario Trillium Foundation28,521,400(1,684,600)(5.6)30,206,00038,231,60040,524,679
Royal Ontario Museum42,112,100(3,387,900)(7.4)45,500,00041,551,10041,127,620
Ontario Arts Council1,292,400595,20085.4697,2002,809,8004,219,124
Ottawa Convention Centre17,750,4001,164,6007.016,585,80017,294,00016,567,365
Niagara Parks Commission107,069,5005,176,9005.1101,892,600102,638,60099,418,175
Science North13,209,5001,843,40016.211,366,10011,241,90012,801,613
Cap and Trade Wind Down Account ReclassificationN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A107,986
St. Lawrence Parks16,535,00016,535,000N/AN/A16,736,800N/A
General Real Estate Portfolio(221,500)4,341,100(95.1)(4,562,600)(4,562,600)(4,424,925)
Ontario Infrastructure and Lands CorporationN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A(526,345)
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments1,532,441,360118,636,1468.41,413,805,2141,580,561,3141,477,157,049
Operating Assets –
Minitry Administration Program
Total Operating Assets to be Voted1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Capital Expense –
Ministry Administration Program
Sport, Recreation and Community Programs1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Tourism and Culture Capital Program101,677,80032,807,50047.668,870,30065,626,60046,424,435
Heritage, Tourism and Culture Programs1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Agency Programs1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Total Capital Expense to be Voted101,684,80032,807,50047.668,877,30065,633,60046,424,435
Statutory Appropriations4,000N/AN/A4,0004,000N/A
Ministry Total Capital Expense101,688,80032,807,50047.668,881,30065,637,60046,424,435
Ontario Place Corporation789,00018,589,000(104.4)(17,800,000)1,206,700(746,853)
Metro Toronto Convention Centre11,009,300463,9004.410,545,40010,709,30010,303,811
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation697,400(909,200)(56.6)1,606,6001,566,6002,144,688
Ontario Science Centre2,347,0001,626,000225.5721,000811,0002,220,000
Ontario Trillium Foundation250,000(170,000)(40.5)420,000325,000377,882
Royal Ontario Museum7,247,000(458,000)(5.9)7,705,0008,090,0005,880,000
Ontario Arts Council270,000(120,000)(30.8)390,000390,000507,243
Ottawa Convention Centre5,703,400178,4003.25,525,0004,198,6005,271,805
Niagara Parks Commission13,653,7001,925,60016.411,728,10011,758,7009,754,885
St. Lawrence Parks(2,312,000)(2,312,000)N/AN/A(2,244,500)N/A
Science North2,697,200731,700N/A1,965,5003,419,8003,955,747
General Real Estate Portfolio(25,207,000)(19,950,000)N/A(5,257,000)(150,000)(836,957)
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments118,833,80032,402,90037.586,430,900105,718,80085,256,686
Capital Assets –
Ministry Administration Program
Heritage, Tourism and Culture Programs1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Agency Programs39,273,00024,955,000174.314,318,00014,318,000N/A
Total Capital Assets to be Voted39,277,00024,955,000174.214,322,00014,322,000N/A
Ministry Total Capital Assets39,277,00024,955,000174.214,322,00014,322,000N/A
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)1,651,275,160151,039,04610.11,500,236,1141,686,280,1141,562,413,735
Historic trend table
Historic Trend Analysis DataActuals 2017-18Actuals 2018-19Estimates 2019-20 footnote 2Estimates 2020-21
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)$1,590,464,452$1,562,413,735$1,500,236,114$1,651,275,160
Percent changeN/A-2%-4%10%

Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs)

The Ministry is responsible for accountability and oversight of 16 provincial entities:

Advisory Council to the Order of Ontario: The Order of Ontario is the Province’s highest official honour. The independent Advisory Council reviews nominations received from the public and recommends individuals from all fields of endeavour and backgrounds to receive this honour in recognition of their excellence and achievement in Ontario and around the world.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection (MCM): Based on a 1965 donation by the McMichael family, the MCM is a major public art gallery devoted to the collection and exhibiting of Canadian art.

Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre Corporation (MTCC): The MTCC manages a world-class convention facility in Toronto with more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, meeting rooms, ballroom space and a 1,330-seat theatre to host international and national conventions, trade and consumer shows.

Niagara Parks Commission (NPC): Established in 1885, the NPC is mandated to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of Niagara Falls and the Niagara River corridor for the enjoyment of visitors and future generations.

Ontario Arts Council (OAC) (legally known as the Province of Ontario Council for the Arts): As Ontario’s primary funding body for professional arts activities, OAC provides grants, scholarships and awards for the creation of art to benefit and enrich the lives of Ontarians.

Ontario Creates (OC) (legally known as the Ontario Media Development Corporation): The OC stimulates employment, investment and original content creation in Ontario’s cultural media cluster, including book and magazine publishing, film and television, interactive digital media, and live and recorded music.

Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT): The OHT is mandated to conserve, protect and preserve Ontario’s heritage, including properties of historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, aesthetic and scenic interest.

Ontario Honours Advisory Council (OHAC): The OHAC is an advisory body accountable to the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. It reviews nominations and makes recommendations for recipients of the Ontario Medal for Police Bravery, the Ontario Medal for Firefighter Bravery, the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers and the Ontario Medal of Good Citizenship.

Ontario Place Corporation (OPC): The OPC is mandated to operate Ontario Place as a provincial exhibit and recreational centre, developing special programs to enhance the image of the province. To streamline accountability and governance for redevelopment of the Ontario Place site, legislation was passed in December 2018 to enable the eventual dissolution of the Ontario Place Corporation.

Ontario Science Centre (OSC) (legally known as the Centennial Centre of Science and Technology): The OSC depicts, educates and stimulates interest in science and technology and its relationship to society, and Ontario’s role in advancing science and technology.

Destination Ontario (DO) (legally known as the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation): The DO promotes Ontario as a travel destination, including joint marketing initiatives in cooperation with the tourism industry, regional tourism organizations, governments and agencies.

Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF): The OTF is one of Canada’s leading charitable grant-making foundations. It helps build strong and healthy communities through contributions to charitable and not-for-profit organizations.

Ottawa Convention Centre Corporation (OCC) (operating as the Shaw Centre): The OCC manages a world-class convention facility in Ottawa. The 200,000 square foot facility hosts international and national conventions and consumer and trade shows.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): The ROM promotes education, teaching, research and publication and collects and exhibits objects, documents and books to illustrate the natural history of Ontario, Canada and the world, and human history in all the ages. It is one of the largest museums in North America.

Science North (SCN): SCN features several attractions, including a science centre and model mine. It also provides public programming throughout Northern Ontario about science and technology and their relationship to society.

St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC): <St. Lawrence Parks Commission">SLPC provides recreational, cultural and heritage, educational and tourism opportunities at its attractions along 200 kilometres of the St. Lawrence River, including the award-winning heritage attractions: Upper Canada Village and the Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Ministry is working with its provincial agencies to plan for the recovery of the culture and tourism sectors that have been impacted by COVID‑19. In particular, the Ministry is working with Destination Ontario as it leads work with tourism sector stakeholders to develop a marketing plan to welcome visitors back to Ontario. The Ministry’s granting agencies (i.e., Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates and Ontario Trillium Foundation) are finding ways to support their sectors with added flexibility in their granting programs for 2020-21.

Summary of ABCs’ Financial Data
Name2020-21 Expense Estimatesfootnote 32020-21 Revenue Estimatesfootnote 32019-20 Expense Interim Actualsfootnote 32019-20 Revenue Interim Actualsfootnote 32018-19 Expense Actuals2018-19 Revenue Actuals
McMichael Canadian Art Collection11,983,80011,893,80011,165,00011,165,00010,308,36510,196,873
Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre Corporation65,612,80077,474,10064,242,20075,974,50059,942,19275,462,443
Niagara Parks Commission124,750,500133,830,500118,489,900128,597,300113,241,000125,790,000
Ontario Arts Council61,924,90061,924,90063,574,90063,387,60073,413,54173,241,200
Ontario Creates42,078,60239,753,60242,808,09042,147,68447,830,00049,320,000
Ontario Heritage Trust14,820,97214,138,73315,540,13714,998,72712,420,00012,146,000
Ontario Place Corporationfootnote 413,219,00013,248,000155,861,40076,703,40017,308,00014,857,000
Ontario Science Centre39,922,00038,151,00040,940,60038,976,40038,281,00039,283,000
Destination Ontario36,085,80035,446,60043,262,60035,531,60038,064,00041,162,000
Ontario Trillium Foundation132,268,400132,268,400142,053,600142,053,600140,913,535140,913,535
Ottawa Convention Centre Corporation23,453,80022,309,70023,705,60021,888,00022,907,34545,181,664
Royal Ontario Museum81,562,00078,931,00081,985,00079,285,00081,026,00081,375,000
Science North24,235,60023,760,30022,149,20021,583,30023,022,59222,764,927
St. Lawrence Parks Commission27,697,30029,903,40027,711,80029,481,10027,991,00027,997,000

Ministry organization chart

April 2020

  • Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Lisa MacLeod
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Sheref Sabawy
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Culture and Sport) – Vincent Ke
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism) – Billy Pang
    • Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport – Nancy Matthews
      • Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister – William Snowball
      • ADM, Sport, Recreation and Community Programs – Steve Harlow
        • Director, Sport, Recreation and Community Programs – Patricia Vena (A)
        • Director, Policy Branch – Susan Golets (A)
        • Director, Honours and Awards – Susan Golets (A)
      • ADM, Culture – Kevin Finnerty
        • Director, Culture and Strategic Policy – Dawn Landry
        • Director, Programs and Services – Gavin Downing (A)
        • Director, Investment and Development Office – Debbie Jewell
        • Director, Tourism Policy and Research – Tony Marzotto
      • ADM, Transformation and Delivery Office – Ken Chan (A)
        • Director, Transformation and Delivery Office – Neil Coburn (A)
        • Director, Transformation and Delivery Office – Sandeep Persaud (A)
      • ADM, Agency Relations and Accountability – Sarah McQuarrie (A)
        • Director, Agency Relations and Accountability – Jennifer Lang
        • General Manager, Fort William Historical Park – Sergio Buonocore
        • General Manager, Huronia Historical Parks – Will Baird
      • ADM/Chief Administrative Officer, Regional and Corporate Servicesfootnote 5 – Melody Robinson
      • Director, Communicationsfootnote 8 – Mike Semansky
      • Legal Directorfootnote 9 – Cheryl Carson (A)
      • Community Services I&IT Cluster CIO/ADMfootnote 10 – Soussan Tabari
  • Ministerial Agencies
    • Destination Ontario
    • Ontario Heritage Trust
    • Ontario Creates
    • Ontario Place Corporation
    • Ontario Science Centre
    • St. Lawrence Parks Commission
    • McMichael Canadian Art Collection
    • Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    • Niagara Parks Commission
    • Ontario Arts Council
    • Ontario Trillium Foundation
    • Ottawa Convention Centre
    • Royal Ontario Museum
    • Science North
    • Advisory Council to the Order of Ontario
    • Ontario Honours Advisory Council

Note: “(A)” denotes acting.


Annual report

Investments in ministry programs drive economic growth in communities across the province, provide opportunities for people, boost local economies and help Ontario’s communities thrive and succeed by showcasing their strengths to the world.

Below are results the Ministry achieved in 2019-20:

Heritage, Tourism and Culture programs

  • Established a new Ministers' Film and Television Advisory Panel to provide expert advice on ways to grow the film and television industries in Ontario
  • Continued to support film and television production through cultural media tax credits, grant programs (and streamlining the time it takes to process them) and services provided by the Ontario Film Commission
  • Contributed to Ontario's film and television industry having a record-breaking year in 2019, with 343 productions bringing in $2.16 billion in production spending for the economy and supporting 44,540 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs. This represents an increase in production by almost 15 per cent from 2018 and more than 7,500 new jobs for Ontarians.
  • Concluded successful meetings with film, television and music industry leaders and executives in Los Angeles to promote and champion Ontario and its creative industries
  • Supported the Canadian Film Centre with $2,350,000 in funding for film and television training activities
  • Worked with Ontario Creates to consult with key stakeholders in the music industry on a modernized Ontario Music Fund (OMF). The modernized OMF will focus on emerging talent and activities that bring the greatest return on investment to the Province
  • Supported the conservation, expansion and sustainable growth plans of the iconic Massey Hall theatre in Toronto. This capital investment of $30 million in committed Provincial funding over three years is supporting heritage conservation activities, the repair and rehabilitation of the iconic main hall and the construction of a new multi-storey south tower containing performance space that will expand Massey Hall’s ability to serve Ontario’s live music sector
  • Continued to generate international investment leads and provide investors with a customized one-window service on doing business in Ontario
  • Through the Grants in Support of Tourism Regions, advanced the growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s tourism regions by providing $23.8 million to Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs). Some of the activities supported include:
    • Kawarthas Northumberland (RTO 8), working with various levels of government and Parks Canada, have developed Canada’s first trail town program to increase visitation through the development of unique visitor experiences and to connect communities and foster pride of place along the Trent-Severn Waterway
    • Destination Northern Ontario (RTO 13) and Indigenous Tourism Ontario’s have developed the Northern Ontario Indigenous Food Tourism Strategy, the first of its kind anywhere in the world; an
    • Regional Tourism Organization 4, in collaboration with Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (RTO 3) and Ontario’s Southwest (RTO 1), have enhanced the visitor experience as part of the Grand River Destination Experience, through visitor friendly access points, wayfinding and product development initiatives along the Grand River in partnership with other municipalities and Destination Marketing/ Management Organizations
  • Through the Grants in Support of Regional Tourism Organizations – Pan-Regional Fund, provided $300,000 to Indigenous Tourism Ontario to support capacity building, Indigenous tourism businesses, strategic alignment, marketing and partnership development
  • Through the Grants in Support of Regional Tourism Organizations – Pan-Regional Fund, provided $100,000 to Société économique de l’Ontario to support continued product and event development along Route Champlain, alignment with partner organizations and the development of solutions to address sector workforce development needs
  • Through the Tourism Development Fund, supported innovative projects aimed at building industry capacity, developing new tourism products and experiences, and attracting investment to Ontario
  • Supported over 285 festivals and events of all sizes in communities across the province to reach new audiences, improve the programs for visitors, benefit local economies, and create new jobs by investing almost $18 million through Celebrate Ontario 2019
  • Through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, contributed to driving regional tourism, job creation and revenue generation by investing more than $2 million in over 35 cultural tourism events helping increase tourism spending in communities across Ontario
  • Celebrated Ontario Heritage Week highlighting the important history of local communities and the diverse heritage of Ontario supported by the Ministry’s more than $5-million investment in community museums and heritage organizations across the province
  • Made amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act through the More Homes, More Choice Act in June 2019 in support the government’s Housing Supply Action Plan and undertook consultation on associated regulations in late 2019-early 2020
  • Made a legislative change to the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) to clarify that contract and freelance workers are eligible for the tax credit. This change will benefit eligible foreign and domestic production companies by reducing red tape and providing clarity that amounts paid to freelance labourers can be included in the calculation of the qualifying production expenditure limit for the OPSTC, retroactive to June 4, 2015
  • Helped Ontario families save money with free admission to 16 Ontario attractions using the 2019 digital Fun Pass that was made available online for families' convenience
  • Announced a proposal to allow free access for children to attractions, museums, galleries and historic sites across the province through the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. This proposal is being considered in the context of how it can be leveraged to support Ontario’s recovery from the COVID‑19 outbreak
  • Advanced the planning and design of the Memorial to Honour Canadian Heroes of the War in Afghanistan, a monument on the grounds of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to honour the veterans and the fallen members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan.

Attractions and Agencies

  • Invested up to $332 million in operating funding and up to $26 million in capital projects in Ontario's culture and tourism attractions
  • Launched a Call for Development inviting partners from around the world to submit proposals to transform Ontario Place into the world-class destination
  • Niagara Parks Commission continued its long-standing trend of strong attendance results, with over 2 million visitors to the attractions, heritage sites and golf courses it directly operates, and undertook the second phase of its Table Rock Centre redevelopment.
  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission hosted more than 615,000 visitors. Fall and winter events at St. Lawrence Parks Commission historic properties (Upper Canada Village and Fort Henry) attracted over 145,000 visitors
  • Conventions and meetings at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre generated an estimated $508 million in economic impact for the region
  • The Ottawa Convention Centre hosted more than 412 events, generating an estimated $140 million in economic impact
  • Destination Ontario leveraged its partnership with Destination Canada to develop a marketing campaign promoting Ontario to the Japanese market from April to December 2019. The campaign resulted in 5,310 passenger bookings and $2.7 million in estimated visitor expenditures in Ontario
  • Science North’s outreach programs outside its Sudbury location reached 111,000 people in northern Ontario. Over 40,000 students in northern Ontario participated in school outreach programs on coding, math and science innovation. New initiatives include the new traveling blockbuster exhibit “Science of Guinness World Records” and “Under the Arctic: Digging into the Permafrost at Dynamic Earth”
  • The Ontario Science Centre opened the new in-house MindWorks exhibit that will travel to other science centres and museums in 2020, generating export revenues and showcasing Ontario’s product innovation. It launched the multi-year “Ask. Test. Repeat.” brand campaign that uses the scientific method to “encourage everyone to think like a scientist”. Its 50th anniversary fundraising campaign secured almost $10 million in cash and gifts in kind to support new programs, experiences and access for underserved communities
  • The Royal Ontario Museum completed the Welcome Project, the Reed Family Plaza & Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace in August 2019. It publicly launched the new Strategic Direction for realizing the ROM’s vision of leadership as a great 21st century museum
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation invested over $100 million to support communities throughout the province which will bring better outcomes to 4 million people in Ontario over the next three years and has resulted in an additional 3.7 million square feet of space in communities since 2016
  • The Ontario Arts Council invested over $53 million in grants to individuals and organizations to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians
  • The McMichael Canadian Art Collection launched Iningat Ilagiit, a virtual museum that features over 4,000 artworks and documentary materials from its Cape Dorset archive. The Visual Outreach Initiative Creating Empowered Students program expanded, offering art-based enrichment to more underserved students in the York Region District School Board.
  • Ontario Heritage Trust’s Doors Open Ontario 2019 attracted 465,000 attendees at 930 sites and generated over $11 million in economic impact for 140 communities across the province
  • Ontario Creates was granted government approval to launch an electronic payment system for grant recipients and was able to improve processing times for film and television credits by 40 per cent to 55 per cent. It also generated 32,000 new business leads for Ontario companies through the Industry Development Program
  • Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Parks continued to include a focus on Indigenous and Francophone communities to support specialized public and educational programming. Both historic attractions were recognized by Festivals and Events Ontario, winning four Top 100 Event Awards
  • Following direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health on physical distancing as a result of COVID‑19, all public-facing ministry agencies and attractions began closing their facilities to the public on March 13, 2020. During this period of closure, the agencies and attractions are doing their part to continue to support the provincial response to the COVID‑19 pandemic

Sport and Recreation programs

  • Attracted more national and international sport events to the province to showcase Ontario’s exceptional athletic talent, increase economic activity and boost tourism by investing more than $2.38 million to support organizations and communities that will host 26 sport events across the province
  • Made changes to the Sport Hosting Program to give communities and sport organizers up to four times as many opportunities to access funding to host sport events by creating new application streams. Eligible sport events now include amateur combative sports and emerging sports
  • Provided $1 million in funding to the successful 2020 Ontario Winter Games in Orillia to give the province's best young athletes the chance to compete at home while boosting local tourism
  • Supported Canada's national men's curling championship with investments that boost tourism in Kingston and provide athletes a chance to compete close to home.
  • Supported tomorrow's Olympic and Paralympic champions with investments in the high-quality training and performance programming delivered by the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and the Coaches Association of Ontario
  • Committed to a cost-shared investment of $29 million for the construction of new sport facilities for the Niagara 2021 Canada Games, which will support athletes, provide community recreation and bring new jobs to Niagara region
  • Continued to advance sport and athlete development by providing funding to Provincial Sport Organizations / Multi-Sport Organizations through the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund
  • Continued to identify and build on ministry actions to support the sport sector over the next several years through the development of a sport plan. Targeted sector engagement (e.g., Sport partners, Provincial Sport Organizations, foundations, school sport bodies) on proposed opportunities to be included in a sport plan occurred throughout Fall 2019. Amateur sport sector engagement will continue to occur over the next several years as actions are implemented
  • Made Ontario a leading jurisdiction for concussion safety in sport by implementing Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, raising awareness of concussions through a province-wide awareness campaign, and through targeted investments of more than $375,000 to improve concussion prevention and management across the province
  • Developed a suite of Concussion Awareness Resources and templates to support sector implementation of Rowan’s Law, including e-Booklets in 19 languages, three videos, an e-module, concussion codes of conduct, and removal-from-sport/return-to-sport protocols to help athletes, parents, coaches, team trainers and officials identify and manage concussions across sport organizations in a harmonized way
  • Passed the Combative Sports Act, 2019, which if proclaimed would make it safer for professional and amateur athletes to participate in combative sports, as well as make the province a more competitive destination to hold professional combative sport events
  • Ontario’s After School Program provided over 21,000 children and youth across the province the opportunity to access after school programming delivered by 115 service providers at over 400 sites. The program reached children and youth in priority neighbourhoods at low or no cost to families in over 80 cities and towns and 11 First Nations
  • Through the Youth Cultural Camps initiative, over 3,000 Indigenous youth benefited from camps held across the province, providing opportunities to enhance traditional knowledge, develop leadership skills and build resiliency
  • Recognized the outstanding achievements and contributions of Ontarians, including more than 7,100 volunteers across the province through the Volunteer Service Awards and 21 new appointments to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour