The CEDC MAT Event Funding Program provides support to events that have the capacity to attract visitors to Thunder Bay. Sports, cultural and corporate events, meetings, conventions and festivals that show the tourism potential to draw visitors to the City of Thunder Bay are eligible for funding.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the CEDC MAT Event Funding Program are to support events/festivals that:

  1. attract visitors to the City of Thunder Bay for overnight stays at local accommodations
  2. generate significant economic benefit for the community
  3. enhance the profile and visibility of the City of Thunder Bay as a place to visit for sport, culture, business and leisure

The CEDC MAT Fund Event Funding Program is a discretionary program with a limited funding allocation. In some cases, an event may meet all program criteria but may not be approved for funding as other events may more effectively meet the criteria.

 Eligibility Requirements
    1.  The applicant must be a legal entity to enter into a funding agreement. Not-for-profit and for profit entities are eligible to apply. An equity investment in the event may be required especially from businesses and for-profit entities. In all cases, events are encouraged to show a profit and become self-sustainable.

    2. Events must attract visitors for overnight stays in Thunder Bay. Visitors are people who travel from at least 80 kilometres away and stay overnight. Preference will be given to those events that generate room nights at an accommodation provider that collects and pays the Municipal Accommodation Tax to the City of Thunder Bay.
      1. Events must generate a minimum of 25 room nights and/or 50 visitors for overnight stays.
      2. Marketing and advertising must target out-of-town markets to attract visitors. 
      3. Funding will be allocated based on the number of visitors attracted and/or the number of room nights generated.
      4. The profile of the event and the exposure for city that the event will create are other key considerations to determine the amount of funding.|

    3. Applicants must apply a minimum of 90-days out from the date of their event. This will allow lead time for evaluation of potential funding and then if funding is approved, ensure the logistics and marketing required to attract out-of-town participants and/or spectators can be met for a successful tourism event.

      It is recommend that major significant events provide a lead-time window of at least 120 days or more.

    4. Applicant is required to provide a budget of the revenues and expenses for the event. The CEDC MAT fund request must be included in revenue to show a need for funding.  

    5. The CEDC MAT Event Fund will fund up to a maximum of 25% of the total event budget

 Eligible Expenses
 Eligible expenses include new/enhanced programming, marketing/advertising costs or general operating costs associated with an event. Examples include:
  1. Hosting Fees to event rights holders 
  2. Venue and Room rentals to host events.  
  3. Rental or lease of equipment/infrastructure (trailers, bleachers, machinery, tables, chairs, office equipment etc.)
  4. Travel expenses – Celebrities, speakers and others guests related to event attraction
  5. Transportation required for moving participants, related support staff and/or members directly related to the event.
  6. Banquets and luncheons
  7. Local food and beverage to showcase local culinary experiences and producers
  8. Entertainment as related to event attraction
  9. Contract services of skilled trades (electrician, plumber, carpenters etc.)
  10. Professional services related to legal, medical, engineering, accounting, auditing, planning, feasibility studies, or other consulting services
  11. Surveys and studies to determine economic impact of event

Expenses that may be allowed on a case-by-case basis:

  1. Salaries directly related to run an event, but not to create full time jobs
  2. Prize money and prizes based on a business case to run the event
  3. Expenses related to charitable component (i.e. lottery licenses and raffle expenses)
 Ineligible Expenses
  1. Alcohol for re-sale at event
  2. Tangible personal property, including, but not limited to office furnishings or equipment, permanent collections, or individual pieces of art
  3. Interest or reduction of deficits and loans to applicant organization or business
 Application Process

Application intake is continual throughout the year. Using the the Short Application Form at bottom of the this page, briefly outline details of the event and how it will atract out-of-town vistiors.


Tourism Check

Upon receipt of the short form application, CEDC - Tourism Thunder Bay staff will conduct a preliminary assessment. Once this assessment has been completed our staff will contact you directly to outline next steps, provide a more detailed application form, and answer any questions you may have.

 Tourism Investment Committee
The detailed application with an event budget and other required supporting documents is given to the Tourism Investment Committee (TIC) for review and evaluation. The TIC can approve funding requests up to $50,000. The TIC is generally scheduled to meet on a monthly basis. 
 CEDC Board of Directors
 If the amount requested is over $50,000, the TIC will refer the application with its recommendations to the Board of the Directors of the Thunder Bay CEDC for final approval. The CEDC board also generally meets on a monthly basis.
 Funding Agreement
Applications approved for funding by the CEDC Board or the TIC will require the applicant to enter into a legal funding agreement with the Thunder Bay CEDC. The applicant must be a legal entity and will be required to provide documentation for banking and insurance to complete the agreement.

The agreement will provide provisions on how monies will be paid out, the reporting requirements and potential payback of funds once the event is complete.

In all cases, there will be a holdback of funds contingent on a final report.  

The applicant must submit a final report within 90-days after the event. The report must outline how the funding was spent on eligible expenses and that all the tourism deliverables were met. The report should include details on the number of visitors, where they came from, room nights for overnight stays and accommodations used,  the economic impact of the event and the positive exposure (media) generated by the event.

Submit Short Form Application

CEDC MAT Event Fund - Short Form Application 

Briefly tell us about your event and how it will attract visitors to Thunder Bay.

Completed applications will be submitted by email to:

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer
Tourism Thunder Bay – CEDC
Whalen Building
34 N. Cumberland St.
Thunder Bay, ON 
P7A 4L4

Phone: 807-625-3231


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