The mandate of the CEDC MAT Product Development Funding Program is to enhance Thunder Bay’s tourism economy by supporting the development of new visitor experiences and the enhancement of existing visitor experiences that:

  • Attract more visitors to Thunder Bay from domestic, US and international markets
  • Increase the length of stay of visitors to Thunder Bay
  • Increase the economic yield of visitors to Thunder Bay
  • Enhance Thunder Bay’s image as an attractive and appealing year around visitor destination
  • Leverage partnerships and financial resources

The CEDC MAT Product Development Funding Application is available on line as a fillable PDF that can be downloaded and emailed for submission.

Product Development Streams

  1. Planning:  Support for feasibility studies and business plans that investigate the potential for the development of new and enhanced visitor experiences.
  2. Capital:  Support the capital costs associated with the development of a new visitor experience or expansion of existing operations.

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

 Eligible Proponents
The product development funding support program is open to the following entities:
  1. Private Sector
  2. Not for profit
  3. Public Sector

The applicant must be a legal entity to enter into a funding agreement.

 Demonstrated Tourism Value
Applicants must identify in the application form and where requires, business plan, that the project contributes positively to the growth and sustainability of Thunder Bay’s tourism economy.


The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications for tourism value:

  1. Fulfills a gap in the tourism visitor experience landscape
  2. Enhances current visitor experience offerings
  3. Supports overnight accommodation growth
  4. Creates or retains employment opportunities within the tourism sector
  5. Supports the growth of Thunder Bay as a four season visitor destination
  6. Demonstrates potential to grow US and international travel markets to the City
  7. demonstrate a financially sustainable business model
 Business Plan

Projects applying to CEDC MAT Product Development Fund will be required to submit a business plan with their application.  Proponents are encouraged to contact and work with the staff of the CEDC/Tourism Thunder Bay in the development of the business plan. 


Download CEDC Guide to Writing a Business Plan (PDF)


CEDC contact
Ryan Moore, Development Officer

Tel: (807) 625-3972



Tourism contact

John Cameron, Tourism Development Officer

Tel: (807) 625-3231


 Funding Criteria
The CEDC MAT contribution limit is up to 33% of total eligible costs. The amount will be determined by relevance of the project proposal and business plan.


Proponent Equity

Proponents must demonstrate in the application process that they have the capacity to contribute a minimum of 10% financial equity to the overall project costs.  In kind costs are not included within this 10% but should be identified in the application business plan.


 Eligible Costs

 Eligible costs include:

  1. Planning consultants
  2. Engineering and architectural costs
  3. Building permit and associated fees
  4. Legal costs related to 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 Costs
  1. Entertainment and alcohol
  2. Costs associated with prizes, contesting and lotteries
  3. Political contributions


 Final Report 
Applicants receiving CEDC MAT Product Development Funding will be required to submit a final report to the CEDC at the completion of the project.


Capital projects will be required to report their key tourism performance indicators to the CEDC annually for a period of three years upon completion of the project.

 Performance Measurement
Tourism product development projects will be required to report on their contribution to enhancing Thunder Bay’s tourism economy.  Key performance indicators can include but not be limited to:
  1. Overnight accommodation volume generated or influenced by the project
  2. Tracking of 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 of the visitor experience once operational 
 Application Process
 Applicants should apply a minimum of 90-days out from the start date of their project. This will allow lead time for evaluation of potential funding and then if funding is approved, ensure the time to execute the logistics of the proposed project.

It is recommended for major significant projects that applicants provide a lead-time window of at least 120 days or more.

The Application for CEDC MAT Product Development Fund is available on-line or as downloadable PDF.

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 as milestones are reached and the reporting requirements and potential payback of funds once the project 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 projects run by for-profit entities.

The applicant must submit a final report within 90-days after the project is completed. The report must outline how the funding was spent on eligible expenses with invoices and receipts provided and that all the tourism deliverables were met. 

 Submit Application

Completed applications (along with any supporting documentation) should be submitted on online, but may be mailed, emailed or delivered to:

Application for CEDC MAT Product Development Fund

Paul Pepe
Tourism Manager
Tourism Thunder Bay – CEDC
Whalen Building
34 N. Cumberland St.
Thunder Bay, ON
P7A 4L4

Phone: 807-625-3880

Contact Us

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer