The CEDC Tourism Event Fund (formerly known as the CEDC Event Fund) provides support to events that have the capacity to attract out-of-town visitors to Thunder Bay and generate overnight stays at Thunder Bay accommodation properties that collect the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).

Program Objectives

The objectives of the CEDC Tourism Event Funding Program are to support events that:

  1. Attract out-of-town visitors to the City of Thunder Bay.
  2. Generate overnight stays at local accommodations that are collecting the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).
  3. Results in significant economic benefit for the community from expenditures to host the event.
  4. Enhance the profile and visibility of the City of Thunder Bay as a place to visit for sport, culture, business and leisure.

The number of out of town visitors, stays at local accommodation properties collecting MAT and the amount of event budget are key factors to determine the amount of funding that your event can receive.

Eligibility Requirements

The CEDC Tourism Event Fund will fund up to a maximum of 25% of the total event budget if the following two requirements are met:

  • Attract out of town visitors -minimum of 50 visitor days (#of visitors x # of event days)

(i.e. 50 visitors x 1 day event = 50 visitor days, 25 visitors x 2 day event = 50 visitor days)

  • Generate a minimum 25 room nights at an accommodation property or properties collecting Municipal Accommodation Tax as host hotel(s) for the event. (#of rooms x # of nights)

(i.e. 25 rooms x 1 night = 25 room/nights, 5 rooms x 5 nights = 25 room/nights)

An out-of-town visitor is defined as a person who travels from out-of-town from over 80 kilometres away and stays overnight in Thunder Bay.

An accommodation property is a hotel, motel, BnB, Air BnB, hostel, cabin, or other fixed roof accommodation that collects the Municipal Accommodation Tax in Thunder Bay.

A tourism event is defined as a meeting or convention, sport championship or tournament, festival, concert, corporate or social gathering that attracts visitors from out-of-town for overnight stays in the city at fixed roof accommodations that collect the Municipal Accommodation Tax in Thunder Bay.

Legal Entity - The applicant is a legal entity that is able to enter into a funding agreement. Both not-for-profit and for-profit entities are eligible to apply, an equity investment may be required for for-profit entities.

Application Deadline - The applicant must apply a minimum of 90 days out from the date of their event and 120 days out for spectator or significant events.

*This will allow lead-time for evaluation of potential funding and if approved, ensure the logistics and marketing required to attract out-of-town visitors.

Program Requirements

To apply for the funding, the applicant must provide:

  • An application outlining the event details.
  • A budget detailing all anticipated event revenues and expenses. (changed order)
  • Documentation verifying the status of business or organization as a legal entity.
  • The most recent year-end financial statements of the business or organization applying for funding.
  • Documentation confirming the event secures at least one host hotel with a minimum booking of 25 room/nights to be eligible.

*The Tourism Thunder Bay team can assist with reaching out to accommodations and setting up a booking code.

Additional Funding Considerations

The CEDC Tourism Event Fund 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. In all cases, events are encouraged to show a profit and become self-sustainable.

While funding is allocated based on the number of out-of-town visitors attracted, the number of room nights generated, here are the other considerations to evaluate the return on investment to the community:

Earned Media Value

  • Marketing and advertising targeting out-of-town markets and attracting out-of-town visitors.
  • The exposure for city created by the profile and media coverage of the event. The broader the reach to a provincial, national or international audience the higher the value.


  • The use of profits to build organization capacity to host future events, especially profit for not-for-profit organizations.
  • The investment made for new infrastructure or upgrade to facilities may also create a great community good for opportunities to host future events. 
Apply Now

Click on the link below to briefly tell us about your event and how it will attract visitors to Thunder Bay.
CEDC Tourism Event Fund – Short Form Application

Completed applications will be submitted by email to:

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer
Thunder Bay CEDC – Tourism Thunder Bay
34 Cumberland St. N.
Thunder Bay, ON, P7A 4L4
P: 807-625-3231

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the application process?

Application intake is continual throughout the year. Applicants first use the Short Form Application at the bottom of this page to briefly outline details of the event and how it will attract out-of-town visitors.

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 make have. During the process of completing the detailed application form applicants are encouraged to work with the CEDC team to ensure application completeness

What are eligible and ineligible expenses? 


Eligible expenses include new/enhanced programming, marketing and advertising costs, or general operating costs associated with an event. Examples include:

  • Hosting fees to event rights holders
  • Venue and Room rentals to host events  
  • Rental or lease of equipment/infrastructure (trailers, bleachers, machinery, tables, chairs, office equipment etc.)
  • Travel expenses such as celebrities, speakers and others guests related to event attraction
  • Transportation required for moving participants, related support staff and/or members directly related to the event
  • Banquets and luncheons
  • Local food and beverage to showcase local culinary experiences and producers
  • Entertainment as related to event attraction
  • Contract services of skilled trades (electrician, plumber, carpenters etc.)
  • Professional services related to legal, medical, engineering, accounting, auditing, planning, feasibility studies, or other consulting services
  • Surveys and studies to determine economic impact of event

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

  • Salaries directly related to run an event, but not to create full time jobs
  • Prize money and prizes based on a business case to run the event
  • Expenses related to charitable component (i.e. lottery licenses and raffle expenses)


  • Alcohol for re-sale at event
  • Prizes and awards
  • Tangible personal property, including, but not limited to office furnishings or equipment, permanent collections, or individual pieces of art
  • Interest or reduction of deficits and loans to applicant organization or business

 Who decides if the application is approved? 

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 applicant will be required to provide a brief presentation of the application to the committee and answer any questions the committee may have. The TIC can approve funding requests up to $50,000 and is generally scheduled to meet on a monthly basis.

If the amount requested it over the $50,000 the TIC will refer the application with its recommendations to Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay CEDC for final approval. The CEDC Board also generally meets on a monthly basis.

 What are the next steps if approved for funding? 

Applications approved for funding by Tourism Investment Committee (TIC) or the CEDC Board of Directors 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 purposes to complete the agreement.

The agreement will provide provisions on how funding 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 evet. 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. 

Can the Thunder Bay Tourism team assist in marketing the event? 

Approved applicants will have the opportunity to meet with the Tourism Thunder Bay marketing team to discuss the marketing plan to attract out-of-town visitors and other opportunities to promote the event using the Tourism Thunder Bay brand, website, and social media channels.  

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