The CEDC MAT Product Development Funding Program provides support to projects that enhance Thunder Bay’s tourism economy. The fund focuses on projects that create new visitor experiences, and enhance existing experiences.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the CEDC MAT Product Development Funding Program are to support projects that demonstrate a capacity to:

  • Attract more visitors to Thunder Bay from domestic, US and international markets;
  • Increase the length of visitor stays in Thunder Bay;
  • Increase visitor spending while in Thunder Bay;
  • Enhance Thunder Bay’s image as an attractive and appealing four-season destination;
  • Leverage partnerships and financial resources.

The CEDC MAT Product Development Funding Program is a discretionary program with a limited funding allocation. In some cases, a project may meet all program criteria but may not be approved for funding as other projects may more effectively meet the criteria.

Product Development Streams

  1. Planning:  Support for feasibility studies and strategic plans that investigate the potential for the development of new and enhanced visitor experiences.
  2. Ventures: Business ideas or concepts for new tourism experiences or the expansion of existing operations.

*Note - Operating support is not being considered at this time.

 Eligibility Requirements
  1. The applicant must be a legal entity capable of entering into a funding agreement and be either a private sector, not-for-profit, or public sector entity.
  2. The project must positively contribute to the growth and sustainability of Thunder Bay’s tourism economy by:
    • Filling a gap in the current visitor experience landscape;
    • Enhancing a current visitor experience offering;
    • Supporting overnight accommodation growth;
    • Creating or retaining employment opportunities within the tourism sector;
    • Supporting the growth of Thunder Bay as a four seasons visitor destination;
    • Expand US and International travel markets to Thunder Bay; and
    • Demonstrate a financially sustainable business model.
  3. Applicants will be required to submit a business plan. After submitting the Short Form Application below, applicants will be provided with more information with respect to this requirement. 
  4. Applicants are required to contribute at least 10% personal equity and requesting no more than 33% of the total project budget from the CEDC.
  5. Applicants receiving CEDC MAT Product Development Funding will be required to submit a final report to the CEDC upon project completion.
    • Capital projects will be required to report on their key tourism performance indicators to the CEDC annually for a period of three years upon completion of the project. Key performance indicator examples include:
    1. Overnight accommodation volume generate or influenced by the project;
    2. Tracking visitor source markets – domestic, US and International markets;
    3. Length of stay per visitor
    4. Number of partnerships developed through the project;
    5. Construction and permanent jobs created through the project;
    6. Financial resources leveraged from the project;
    7. Value of earned media resulting from the capital project;
    8. Visitor satisfaction ratings.
 Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses include:

  1. Planning consultants;
  2. Engineering and architectural costs;
  3. Building permit and associated fees;
  4. Legal costs directly related to the project;
  5. Construction and renovation costs;
  6. Project management costs related to project;
  7. Utilities related to the capital project;
  8. Salaries and wages related directly to the planning or capital project
 Ineligible Expenses

Ineligible expenses include:

  1. Entertainment and alcohol;
  2. Costs associated with prizes, contesting and lotteries; and
  3. Political contributions.
 Application Process

Application intake is continual throughout the year. Using the Short Application Form at the bottom of this page, briefly outline details of the project and how it will attract more visitors to Thunder Bay.

Applicants should apply a minimum of 90-days prior to the start date of their project. This will permit lead time for evaluation of potential funding, and if funding is approved, ensure the time to execute the logistics of the proposed project.

It is recommended that for major and significant projects that applicants apply a minimum of 120 days prior to the start date of their project.


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, project budget and any other required supporting documentation 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 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, reporting requirements, and outline of funding holdbacks. In all cases, there will be a holdback of funds contingent on delivery of a final report.  

The applicant must submit a final report within 90-days after completion of the project. The report must outline how the funding was spent on eligible expenses and that all the tourism deliverables were met. 


 Submit Short Form Application
(MAT) Product Development Fund Application – Short Form

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

Completed applications will be submitted by email to:

John Cameron

Tourism Development Officer
Tourism Thunder Bay – CEDC
Whalen Building - Suite 701, 34 N. Cumberland St.
Thunder Bay, ON    P7A 4L4

Phone: 807-625-3231




Contact Us

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer