Ontario Supporting Safe, Innovative Festivals and Events in Mississauga

Published on August 04, 2021

Historic investment will help people reconnect with their communities in new ways, support local economies

MISSISSAUGA – The Ontario government is investing nearly $50 million to support 439 festivals and events across Ontario through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, and the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Program.

This one-time funding increase for festivals and events – more than double the annual funding provided to the sector in the past – will ensure the long-term success of the festival and event sector while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences, whether virtually or in-person, that allow people to safely reconnect with their communities.

Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, announced today that the following six local events are receiving over $550,000 in funding support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program:

  • $223,500 for the Mississauga Waterfront Festival's Lights & Ice WinterFest;
  • $80,000 for the Canadian Community Arts Initiative's TD Mosaic 2021, the 16th annual South Asian Festival of Mississauga;
  • $75,727 for the Paint The Town Red Port Credit Community Association's "A Thanksgiving to Remember";
  • $74,850 for CreativeHub 1352's Mississauga Festival of Trees, a Mississauga GTA event to create wonder, joy, and visitor engagement at the Small Arms Inspection building and site;
  • $62,000 for the Port Credit BIA's Winter IN The Port; and,
  • $34,350 for the Crane Creations Theatre Company's Bridges Festival, and International Puppetry Festival with a Canadian Focus in 2022.

“For more than a year, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture – two major industries that bring people together and our communities to life,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Increasing our annual support for festivals and events will give the sector a much-needed boost as we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19. Our government is supporting organizations that are finding new ways to safely engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs.”

The Reconnect Festival and Event Program was developed to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings. The program directs support to events with innovative and safe experiences, while creating opportunities that encourage Ontarians to reconnect with the beauty and diversity of their communities in new ways.

The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports municipalities and organizations in Ontario that host large-scale, high-impact signature events that draw significant tourist attendance and increase tourist spending, increase Ontario’s profile through media and broadcast exposure and provide significant economic impact and legacy development for the province.

“Festivals and events like Paint the Town Red, the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, and TD Mosaic make important contributions to our community, creating local jobs, and boosting the local economy,” said Cuzzetto. “I’m so pleased the government is making these important investments through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, and giving us all the opportunity to experience what Ontario has to offer right in our own backyard.”


Quick Facts

  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario – in 2018, the tourism industry supported more than 390,000 jobs and generated over $36 billion of economic activity for the province.
  • Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, every $1 of provincial funding invested through Celebrate Ontario (the model for the Reconnect program) resulted in almost $21 of visitor spending. The impact of the 2021/22 Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster and Reconnect Festival and Event Program investment is estimated to generate over $1 billion in economic benefit across the province.
  • Reconnect Festival and Event Program funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, marketing, mobile applications and website development, and making sure health and safety measures are put in place to keep audiences safe.
  • As announced in the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing more than $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support tourism, culture, sport and recreation sectors. This builds on investments of $225 million announced earlier, bringing the total support for these sectors to more than $625 million since the pandemic began.


Additional Resources



Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
(905) 274-8228