The CEDC Product Development Fund 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.


The objectives of the CEDC Product Development fund are to support projects that demonstrate a capacity to achieve one or more of these objectives:

  • Attract out-of-town visitors for overnight stays in the City of Thunder BaySteatery
  • 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

Program Streams

  • Planning: Support for feasibility studies and strategic plans that investigate the potential for the development of new and enhanced visitor experiences.
  • Ventures: Business ideas or concepts for new tourism experiences or the expansion of existing operations.
  • Capital Enhancements for Future Event Hosting: Support for facility upgrades and equipment, machinery, and furniture purchases.

*Operating support is not being considered at this time.


Project Eligibility

The CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund will fund up to a maximum of 33% of the total project. 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;Goods & Co interior
  • 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.

 Applicant Eligibility

The applicant must be a Canadian legal entity that is able to enter into a funding agreement. Both not-for-profit and for-profit entities are eligible to apply. Proof of legal entity and the entity’s most recent financial statement must be submitted with the application.

The applicant must contribute at least 10% personal equity into the project.

Legal entities can only submit two applications per calendar year, multi-year applications are welcome.

The applicant must also meet the application deadline by submitting a short form application a minimum of 90 days out from the date of their project.


The CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund is a discretionary program with a limited funding allocation. In some cases, an project may meet all program criteria but may not be approved for funding as other projects may more effectively meet the criteria. In all cases, projects are encouraged to show a profit and become self-sustainable.


APPLY NOW -  Short Form Application


Applicants submit a short form application to CEDC Tourism Thunder Bay staff who will conduct a preliminary assessment on the project to determine if it will meet all eligibility requirements for a tourism project such as out-of-town visitors, overnight stays and/or room/nights.

Application intake is continual throughout the year.

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

Completed applications will be submitted by email to:

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

Long Form Application


If the requirements are met in the short form application, CEDC staff will email the applicant the long form application and a sample budget. This application will be used to apply to the Tourism Investment Committee (TIC) for funding. During this process, applicants are encouraged to work with the CEDC team to ensure application completeness.  CEDC staff can assist with reaching out to accommodation properties and setting up a booking code.

Eligible and Ineligible Expenses


Eligible Expenses

  • Planning consultants
  • Engineering and architectural costs
  • Building permit and associated fees
  • Legal costs directly related to the project
  • Construction and renovation costs
  • Project management costs
  • Salaries and wages related directly to the planning or capital project
  • Marketing and advertising (to out-of-town markets)
  • Other expenses deemed eligible that attract visitors or enhance the visitor experience

Ineligible Expenses

  • Entertainment
  • Alcohol
  • Prizes and awards
  • Political contributions


Tourism Investment Committee Meetings

When the long form application is considered complete by CEDC staff it will be added to the agenda for the Tourism Investment Committee (TIC) for review and evaluation. The applicant will be required to provide a brief 5 minute presentation of the application to the committee and answer any questions the committee may have.

The TIC will review all funding applications and can approve funding requests up to $50,000. The TIC is generally scheduled to meet on a monthly basis on the second Wednesday of the month. If the amount requested is over the $50,000 then the TIC will refer the application with its recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay CEDC for final approval.

Decision on Funding Request

Funding decisions will be communicated to the applicant within two weeks of the committee meeting concluding.

Applications approved for funding by the Tourism Investment Committee (TIC) or the CEDC Board of Directors (BOD) will require the applicant to enter into a legal funding agreement with the Thunder Bay CEDC. The agreement will provide provisions on how funding will be paid out, 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 and evaluation metrics being met.

Marketing the Project


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 project using the Tourism Thunder Bay brand, website, and social media channels.

Final Reporting

The applicant must submit a final report within 90 days of the project concluding. The CEDC staff will email the applicant a final report template for completion which includes:

  • An actual profit and loss income statement for the project
  • A summary of the tourism values realized (attraction of more out-of-town visitors, generation of room nights, jobs created, etc.)

The final holdback will be paid out based on the evaluation of the metrics submitted in the final report. 

Contact Us

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer