The CEDC MAT Event Funding Program provides support to events that have the capacity to attract visitors to Thunder Bay, generate overnight stays at local accommodations and increased visitor spending. Sports, cultural and corporate events and/or festivals that show the tourism potential to draw visitors to the City of Thunder Bay are eligible for funding.

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.

Download the  CEDC MAT Event Funding Program Application 

Download CEDC MAT Fund Event Funding Program Budget Template (.XLSX)

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, and in so doing, generate significant economic benefit for the community, specifically the accommodation industry;
  2. enhance the profile and visibility of the City of Thunder Bay provincially, nationally, and internationally as a place to visit for sport, culture, business and leisure
 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 encourage 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.
 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
Download the CEDC MAT Event Funding Program ApplicationA budget template is also available for download.

Application intake is continual throughout the year. Applications must be submitted to Tourism Thunder Bay using the Application Form, preferably online.

Applicants are encouraged to review the form so they know what questions will be asked and then gather all of the required information BEFORE beginning application.  

Tourism Check
Tourism Thunder Bay staff will check all applications for the completeness of the information requested and confirm the event has tourism value. Tourism staff can provide assistance to clarify and answer questions the applicant may have to complete the application.
 Tourism Investment Committee
Applications are 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 service 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 and 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. Events will be assessed on a case-by case with the holdback amount negotiable in the agreement process. In addition, monies provided may be conditionally repayable, especially for events run by for-profit entities.

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 Application

CEDC MAT Event Funding Program Application 

Completed applications (along with supporting documentation) can be submitted on online, but may also be mailed, emailed or delivered 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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