Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) promotes local economic growth and improves quality of life in communities by empowering its tourism, culture and sport sectors. The ministry supports tourism and cultural experiences, key attractions and agencies, the arts and cultural media industries. It also champions sport and recreation participation and events across the province.

The ministry promotes economic growth and improves quality of life by:

  • delivering programming for the tourism industry, including through Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations
  • encouraging private-sector investment and new product development, supporting festivals and events, undertaking research to aid business decisions, and marketing Ontario as a tourist destination
  • overseeing programs supporting the cultural industries, artists and arts organizations, public libraries, community museums and not-for-profits and charities across Ontario
  • overseeing twelve board-governed agencies, two operational transfer payment entities, and directly operating two historical tourism attractions
  • supporting programming for provincial amateur sport and recreation not-for-profit organizations and overseeing professional combative sport events across Ontario

The ministry funds, regulates and delivers many programs and initiatives directly and through its agencies and attractions in collaboration with partner ministries and in consultation with stakeholders. The ministry also provides oversight to provincial agencies in the tourism and culture sectors that enhance and contribute to Ontario’s economic and social well-being.

The ministry’s continued work, along with investments in its programs, will enable sector partners and stakeholders to grow their competitive advantage and achieve sustainable growth, promote economic development and modernization, create jobs and opportunities for people, and help communities thrive and succeed by showcasing their strengths and attracting potential visitors.

Ministry programs

Investments in ministry programs promote economic development in communities across the province, create jobs and opportunities for people, and help communities thrive and succeed by showcasing their strengths to attract potential visitors.

The ministry continues to monitor sectors and engage stakeholders to ensure programming reflects the needs, clients served and intended outcomes of each program.

The ministry is committed to contributing towards increasing the economic impact and cultural benefits of Ontario’s tourism, culture and sport sectors. Ministry programs aim to improve these outcomes and are measured in a number of key performance indicators:

  • Ontario tourism receipts
  • Contribution to total culture GDP from Ontario
  • Contribution to total sport GDP from Ontario
  • Annual attendance at MTCS public facing attractions

Tourism and culture programs

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

The ministry engages with and works alongside sector organizations and stakeholders to:

  • support regional planning and economic development through the Regional Tourism Organizations to build a stronger, more competitive tourism industry
  • encourage and promote Ontario’s cultural tourism products
  • support professional arts activity as a driver of community well-being and economic vitality
  • cultivate growth in creative industries such as film, television, book and magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media to make Ontario a leader in the knowledge-based economy
  • raise the profile of Ontario as a place to invest in tourism and creative industries
  • support new product and experience development and enhance festivals and events across the province
  • raise the profile of Ontario as a province rich in cultural resources
  • Support community museums and public libraries to promote community and individual well-being, lifelong learning, and pride of place

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 refundable 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, provides operating grants, 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.

Community museum sector support — Through an operating grant program, outreach, and the Ontario Museum Standards, the ministry supports museums to drive cultural tourism and tell the stories of Ontario’s diverse communities, past and present.

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 Parks, two directly operated historic tourist attractions. Both Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Parks 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.

The ministry undertook several program changes and actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • the ministry’s agencies and attractions are supporting local economies and welcoming Ontarians and visitors, as they recover from the impact of the pandemic, by re-opening their facilities and service offerings
  • the ministry’s granting agencies (i.e., Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Creates and Ontario Trillium Foundation) continue to support grant recipients as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • The Ontario Arts Council fosters the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians and administers grants to support professional artists and arts organizations based in Ontario in the areas of arts education, Indigenous arts, community arts, craft, dance, francophone arts, literature, media arts, multidisciplinary arts, music, theatre, touring and visual arts.
    • Ontario Creates supports the entertainment and creative cluster (book publishing, film, television, interactive digital media, magazine publishing, and the music industries)
    • The Ontario Trillium Foundation builds healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by investing in community-based initiatives and strengthening the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector.
  • Destination Ontario, as the lead tourism marketing agency for the Province, continues to implement strategies to increase consumer confidence, support the industry, and to position Ontario as a preferred destination for domestic and international visitors.

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.

The ministry supports safe sport by working with partners and Ontario’s sport organizations to provide a sport culture and environment free of harassment, abuse and discrimination. Ontario is also a national leader in concussion safety as the only jurisdiction in Canada with concussion awareness and prevention legislation (Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018).

The ministry provides support that enables growth of the sector, increases sport tourism, and provides athletes of all abilities the opportunity to participate and achieve success.

Sport and athlete development — Investments in various programs foster opportunities to strengthen the sport sector and help ensure the sport system welcomes all Ontarians to play organized sport.

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; and funding to delivery partners and athletes for high-performance programs and services, coach training and education to build leadership in the sector.

Ontario’s Sport Recognition Policy requires Provincial and Multi-Sport Organizations to have a harassment policy, screening policy, inclusion policy, discipline policy and a dispute resolution policy. The policy also requires each Provincial and Multi-Sport Organization to have a code of conduct for athletes, coaches, officials and boards of directors.

Sport events/hosting  — The ministry provides support to national and international amateur sport events hosted in Ontario, including the Ontario Games program that funds the delivery of five multi-sport games with an economic impact of over $15 million, as well as Team Ontario’s participation at the Canada Games, which are held every two years and celebrate youth, sport, culture and community.

Office of the Athletics Commissioner  — The ministry is responsible for the Office of the Athletics Commissioner, which oversees the administration and enforcement of the Athletics Control Act. The act and its regulations set out the legal framework for professional boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts in Ontario.

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.

2023–24 strategic plan

The ministry supports the government’s plan to build a strong Ontario that continues to have a resilient economy and the infrastructure needed to support growth across the province. The government’s plan will continue to create a competitive business environment and make Ontario the destination of choice for global investors.

Through strategic and targeted investments in ministry programs (i.e., tourism, music, arts, museums and public libraries, and sport and recreation activities), the ministry will continue to help generate economic activity, create jobs, and boost local economies by creating an environment where businesses and their employees can rebuild and thrive.

For 2023–24, the ministry will continue to build on the measures to modernize Ontario’s film and television tax credits announced in the 2022 Budget and the 2022 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. As a result, the ministry’s strategic priorities and investments include:

  • providing additional financial support to extend from 2022–23 to 2025–26 the film and television tax credit eligibility to professional film and television productions made available exclusively online
  • proposing a requirement that film and television productions supported by Ontario tax credits provide an on-screen acknowledgement of this support in their end credits
  • exploring opportunities to simplify the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit to reduce administrative complexity while continuing to ensure support remains targeted to professional productions with significant cultural or economic impact
  • proceeding with a review of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit regional bonus to ensure it is providing effective and appropriate incentives and support for film and television production in all regions of Ontario

These investments will result in economic and social benefits across Ontario. Communities will thrive and succeed by showcasing their strengths to attract potential visitors.

  • Expected outcomes are intended to increase the economic impact and cultural benefits of Ontario’s tourism, culture and sport sectors and will:
    • help build resilience and maintain capacity in the ministry’s sectors, and those who rely on them for jobs and quality of life
    • position ministry sectors for sustainable economic and social recovery
    • help ministry sectors increase their competitiveness and deliver new, innovative, modernized and inclusive experiences
Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2023–24 ($M)
ItemAmount
Operating1658.6
Capital87.6
Total1746.3

Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined operating and capital summary by vote

Operating expense
Votes/programsEstimates 2023–24
$
Change from estimates 2022–23
$
Estimates 2022–23footnote 1Interim Actuals 2022–23footnote 1
$
Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Ministry Administration Program23,548,300(7,700)23,556,00028,115,50026,774,691
Sport, Recreation and Community Programs57,814,200222,80057,591,40055,220,90083,867,216
Tourism and Culture Programs91,534,400(206,991,900)298,526,300320,321,300312,538,505
Ontario Trillium Foundation Program103,557,000N/A103,557,000103,557,000178,557,000
Ontario Cultural Media Tax Credits906,067,30089,144,700816,922,600884,281,500777,248,336
Agency Program223,530,300(3,431,000)226,961,300237,204,500307,374,097
Total Operating Expense to be Voted1,406,051,500(121,063,100)1,527,114,6001,628,700,7001,686,359,845
Statutory Appropriations83,187N/A83,18783,187169,756
Ministry Total Operating Expense1,406,134,687(121,063,100)1,527,197,7871,628,783,8871,686,529,601

Consolidations and other adjustments

Ontario Place CorporationN/AN/AN/A(670,200)N/A
Metro Toronto Convention Centre47,015,7001,050,00045,965,70039,974,1001,064,540
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation(901,000)2,249,900(3,150,900)2,881,8001,137,415
Ontario Science Centre16,499,4006,528,4009,971,00016,320,6003,458,533
Ontario Trillium Foundation22,037,000(2,148,100)24,185,10025,531,10049,422,028
Royal Ontario Museum39,744,2005,944,20033,800,00035,547,10018,851,394
Ontario Arts Council2,011,100880,8001,130,3002,185,600956,849
Niagara Parks Commission89,372,90031,784,30057,588,60080,569,90046,421,583
Ottawa Convention Centre16,187,8004,073,70012,114,1007,679,100(4,259,556)
Science North7,096,200273,2006,823,0006,823,0006,191,884
St. Lawrence Parks14,352,7004,431,3009,921,40013,869,7009,746,946
General Real Estate Portfolio(935,400)(35,500)(899,900)(910,900)(1,227,038)
Ontario Infrastructure and Lands CorporationN/AN/AN/AN/A(159,245)
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments1,658,615,287(66,030,900)1,724,646,1871,858,584,7871,818,134,934
Capital expense
Votes/programsEstimates 2023–24
$
Change from estimates 2022–23
$
Estimates 2022–23footnote 1Interim Actuals 2022–23footnote 1
$
Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Ministry Administration Program4,000N/A4,0004,000N/A
Tourism and Culture Capital Program42,668,4007,220,00035,448,40031,647,40048,368,715
Tourism and Culture Programs1,000N/A1,0001,000N/A
Agency Programs1,000N/A1,0001,000N/A
Total Capital Expense to be Voted42,674,4007,220,00035,454,40031,653,40048,368,715
Statutory appropriations4,000N/A4,0004,000N/A
Ministry Total Capital Expense42,678,4007,220,00035,458,40031,657,40048,368,715
Ontario Place CorporationN/AN/AN/A(116,100)N/A
Metro Toronto Convention Centre11,000,000300,00010,700,0008,961,0008,511,754
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation584,000(430,800)1,014,800389,300826,354
Ontario Science Centre2,743,2001,112,1001,631,1001,770,3002,222,120
Ontario Trillium Foundation81,000(59,000)140,000130,000188,701
Royal Ontario Museum14,100,0006,000,0008,100,00010,050,0009,362,000
Ontario Arts Council222,30012,300210,000216,900215,134
Niagara Parks Commission12,929,900(220,000)13,149,90011,141,00011,673,627
Ottawa Convention Centre4,830,0004,085,700744,3003,582,0003,232,469
St. Lawrence Parks(4,530,800)(1,077,700)(3,453,100)(2,415,700)(2,222,481)
Science North3,010,600163,0002,847,6003,052,6004,289,601
Ontario Infrastructure and Lands CorporationN/AN/AN/AN/A(11,774,844)
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments87,648,60017,105,60070,543,00068,418,70074,893,150
Capital assets
Votes/programsEstimates 2023–24
$
Change from estimates 2022–23
$
Estimates 2022–23footnote 1Interim Actuals 2022–23footnote 1
$
Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Ministry Administration Program3,000N/A3,0003,000N/A
Tourism and Culture Programs1,000N/A1,0001,000N/A
Agency Programs1,000N/A1,00038,801,000N/A
Total Capital Assets to be Voted5,000N/A5,00038,805,000N/A
Ministry Total Capital Assets5,000N/A5,00038,805,000N/A
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)1,746,263,887(48,925,300)1,795,189,1871,927,003,4871,893,028,084

Historic trend analysis data

Historic trend table
Historic trend analysis dataActuals 2020–21footnote 2Actuals 2021–22footnote 2Estimates 2022–23footnote 2Estimates 2023–24
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)$1,413,189,790$1,893,028,084$1,795,189,187$1,746,263,887
Percent changeN/A34-5-3

For additional financial information, see:

Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs)

The ministry is responsible for accountability and oversight of 12 provincial agencies:

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 exhibition 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 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): 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): 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.

Ministry organizational chart

April 2023

  • Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport — Neil Lumsden
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport — Sheref Sabawy
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport — Laura Smith
    • Deputy Minister — Nina Chiarelli
      • Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister — Stephane Baffer-Rochonnat
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Sport, Recreation and Recognition — Tyler Currie
        • Director, Sport, Recreation and Community Programs — Patricia Vena
        • Director, Policy Branch — Neil Coburn
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism and Culture — Katherine Kelly Gatten
        • Director, Culture and Strategic Policy — Lorraine Dooley (A)
        • Director, Investment and Development Office — Debbie Jewell
        • Director, Tourism Policy and Research — Tony Marzotto
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Agency Relations and Accountability — Sarah McQuarrie
        • Director, Agency Relations and Accountability Office — Will Snowball (A)
        • Director, Financial Performance and Strategy Office — Cameron Whitehead
        • General Manager, Fort William Historical Park — Patrick Morash (A)
        • General Manager, Huronia Historical Parks — Will Baird
      • ADM/Chief Administrative Officer, Regional and Corporate Servicesfootnote 3 — Melody Robinson
        • Director, Human Resources — Jennifer Stewartfootnote 4
        • Director, Corporate Finance — Nadia Eidfootnote 4
        • Director, Regional Services — Marie Campbellfootnote 4
        • Director, Strategic Policy Development and Planning — Kristina Lauesenfootnote 4
        • Director, Business Services Integration — Michael Van Wykfootnote 4
      • Director, Communicationsfootnote 5 — Estelle Saint-Martin (A)
      • Legal Directorfootnote 6 — Cheryl Carson
      • Community Services I&IT Cluster CIO/ADMfootnote 7 — Rocco Passero
  • Ministerial Agencies
    • Destination Ontario
    • Ontario Creates
    • 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

Strategic investments in ministry programs boost economic growth and employment in local communities across the province and help improve quality of life by promoting and delivering tourism and cultural experiences and sport and recreation activities.

The ministry is committed to contributing towards increasing the economic impact and cultural benefits of Ontario’s tourism, culture and sport sectors. Ministry programs aim to improve these outcomes and are measured in a number of key performance indicators (including most recent trend data available at the time of printing):

  • Outcome: Increased economic impact of tourism spending in Ontario
    • Performance indicator: Ontario tourism receipts
    • 2019: $38.0B
    • 2020: $13.6B
    • Target (2025) $38.0B
  • Outcome: Increased economic impact of culture in Ontario
    • Performance indicator: Contribution to total culture GDP from Ontario
    • 2019: $28.6B
    • 2020: $27.0B
    • Target (2025) $32.2B
  • Outcome: Increased economic impact of sport in Ontario
    • Performance indicator: Contribution to total sport GDP from Ontario
    • 2019: $2.6B
    • 2020: $2.2B
    • Target (2025) $2.5B
  • Outcome: Increased delivery of cultural and economic benefits to the province
    • Performance indicator: Annual attendance at MTCS public facing attractions
    • 2019–20: $5.6M
    • 2021–22: $2.2M
    • Target (2022–23) $3.3M

Below are results the ministry achieved in 2022-23:

Tourism and culture programs

  • In 2022-23, the Pan-Regional Fund provided $750,000 in funding to five projects that supported the development of Indigenous, Francophone, 2SLGBT+, trails, and festival and event tourism products and experiences.
  • Continued delivery of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit, which provided eligible Ontario residents with support of 20 per cent on eligible 2022 accommodation expenses for leisure travel in Ontario up to $1,000 for an individual or $2,000 for a family. In total, the credit was projected to provide support of an estimated $270 million to about 1.85 million Ontario families and up to a maximum of $200 for an individual and $400 for a family.
  • Provided $110 million to support the tourism and cultural initiatives.
  • Continued modernizing Ontario’s cultural media tax credits to reflect the latest cultural industry practices and modern distribution channels, in order to attract key investment and high-value jobs in the sector. As part of this work, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport along with the Ministry of Finance:
    • are making regulatory amendments to Ontario’s film and television tax credits to include professional film and television productions distributed exclusively to online platforms, as recommended by the Film and Television Advisory Panel
    • are exploring opportunities to simplify the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE) and have begun stakeholder consultations
    • have amended the definition of “eligible tangible property expenditures” for the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit to improve competitiveness of this tax credit and incentivize more on-location filming in communities across the province
    • are increasing Ontario visibility support by making regulatory amendments to the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and Ontario Production Services Tax Credit to require that eligible film and television productions provide on-screen acknowledgement of their receipt of Ontario tax credit support
    • have clarified that labour expenditures for employees working from home or in hybrid work arrangements are eligible for the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit and the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit
    • have updated the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit by removing the requirement that an eligible literary work must be published in an edition of at least 500 copies of a bound book
  • Allocated $2.3 million to the Ontario Cultural Media Tax Credits program to reflect costs associated with expanding eligibility to include expenditures a qualifying corporation incurs to lease properties for “on-location” filming with respect to an eligible film or television production.
  • Provided a one-time $10 million increase to the Ontario Arts Council’s allocation to help with the arts sector’s recovery and growth.
  • Supported tourism recovery in Niagara Falls by working with the impacted sectors and region to recover to pre-pandemic tourism levels and beyond.
  • Increased funding by $28.6 million in 2022-23 to the ministry’s Reconnect Ontario 2022 Program, specifically the Festival and Event Attractions and Support Program, in response to the COVID-19 impacts. This program provides support to festival and event organizers who have developed innovative local in-person, drive-in/drive-through and virtual experiences. It also supports programming and marketing for festivals and events, to help create great Ontario staycation experiences for visitors and stimulate local community economic development and recovery.
  • Supported the Government’s 2022 Budget commitment to “Support Tourism in Niagara Falls,” by leading targeted and focused engagement with key priority stakeholder in the Niagara region.
  • Provided $2 million to the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund to support 53 cultural tourism festivals, events and exhibitions across Ontario.
  • Completed $5 million in capital project funding support to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough. The museum is expected to open fall 2023 following the installation of its collection.
  • Provided capital funding support to the Greek-Canadian Heritage Museum in Toronto.
  • Undertook several program changes and actions in response to COVID-19 outbreak, including:
    • providing support for the development of innovative products, investment attractions and capacity building for the tourism industry. In 2022-23, the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery returned to its base budget of $500,000 and 17 new projects and 5 multi-year projects were approved
    • supporting new and ongoing festivals and events by enhancing their programming, activities and services, and supporting community economic development. The Reconnect Ontario program committed almost $43 million to 547 events and another $5.2 million was committed to Marquee Event Fund events and to Luminato
    • expediting the release of funding to Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) to ensure timely and seamless continuity of service. RTOs have responded to COVID-19’s impact on the sector through initiatives that supported local businesses and operators, including undertaking hyperlocal promotional initiatives; directly facilitating the creation of innovative, safe products and experiences such as small group tours, drive-throughs/drive-ins, etc.; supporting safe reopening of operators; enhancing operators’ digital assets; and developing regional workforce development solutions
    • expediting the release of operating funds to public libraries, community museums and government agencies and attractions in order to support reopening and recovery
    • offering a simplified application form for the Community Museum Operating Grant and the Public Library Operating Grant, and deferring required documentation (e.g., audited financial statements) until later in the fiscal year, to reduce the burden for applicants and provide timely grant payments

Sport and recreation programs

  • Invested up to $2 million to provide children and youth from equity deserving groups opportunities to participate in grassroots sport and recreation, delivered in partnership with Jumpstart Canada, the MLSE Foundation, Canadian Women and Sport, the Foundation for Black Communities and the Hockey Diversity Alliance.
  • Committed up to $1.4 million to the City of Thunder Bay as the hosts of the 2024 Ontario Winter Games.
  • After two years of postponement and rescheduling of many Ontario Games properties, 2022 and 2023 resulted in executing five Ontario Games with a multi-year investment of $3 million in communities. The benefits of communities hosting the Ontario Games, include building a sport hosting resume, developing a strong base of qualified volunteers and building community spirit and pride. These communities hosted 400–3,500 participants and up to 22 sports per Games, which resulted in an economic impact of over $5 million across the province. The Games included:
    • 2022 Ontario Para Summer Games & 2022 Ontario Summer Games – Mississauga
    • 2022 Ontario 55+ Summer Games – Peterborough
    • 2023 Ontario Para Winter Games – Durham Region
    • 2023 Ontario Winter Games – Renfrew County
  • Supported the operations of the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games through a $11.45 million multi-year investment. These Games included over 5000 participants in 18 sports. The projected economic impact of the Games to Niagara Region is $400 million. The last time Canada Games was hosted in Ontario was 2001 in London.
    • The legacy plan for the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games included the build of the new state-of-the-art sport facilities named Canada Games Park. The new venue includes, two ice pads, a para-sport gymnasium, health and well-being facilities, high-performance training facilities and a 200 meter indoor track. In addition, the venue provides six beach volleyball courts, a 400 meter track and field facility and an outdoor cycling and environmental sustainability centre located outside the venue. This capital investment will be enjoyed and utilized by all in the Niagara Region.

Attractions and agencies

  • Supported the Ontario Science Centre with $11 million in funding to help address capital and operating pressures.
  • Received approval of $3 million to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to begin stage-one planning work on capital repairs across its campgrounds, beaches and attractions.
  • Begun modernization of the asset management program to be more responsive to agencies capital needs.
  • Announced details of the government plan to revitalize Ontario Place into a world-class destination. The responsibility of Ontario Place was transferred to the Ministry of Infrastructure effective October 17, 2022.
  • Conducted work to retain and integrate key heritage and recreational features of Ontario Place, including the Cinesphere, the pod complex, the marina, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail.
  • Invested $100,000 to support capital repairs and improvements at the Twin Elm Rugby Park, a popular athletic club in Eastern Ontario, to stabilize park operations and ensure that spectators, teams and players continue to safely enjoy its five playing fields.
Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2022–23
ItemMinistry Interim Actual Expenditures ($M) 2022–23footnote 8
COVID‑19 Approvals200.0
Other Operating1658.6
Other Capital68.4
Staff Strengthfootnote 9 (as of March 31, 2023)955.5