The CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund provides financial support for tourism projects that enhance, create or improve tourism experiences and opportunities in the City of Thunder Bay.


The objectives of the CEDC Product Development fund are to support projects that:

  • Attract out-of-town visitors for overnight stays in the City of Thunder Bay.Cruise Ship
  • Increase the length of visitor stay or visitor spending in Thunder Bay.
  • Enhances Thunder Bay’s image as an attractive and appealing four-season destination.
  • Leverage partnerships and financial resources to demonstrate viability and sustainability.
  • Create or retain employment opportunities within the tourism sector.

Program Streams

  • Tourism Planning: Support for feasibility studies and strategic plans that investigate the potential for the development of a tourism experience.
  • Tourism Business Development or Expansion: To create/develop or improve a tourism experience.
  • Tourism Capital Enhancement: To enhance a tourism experience or prepare for future event hosting.

*Operating support is not being considered at this time


Project EligibilityGoods and Co

The CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund will fund up to a maximum of $500,000 (over a two-year instalment of $250,000 per year) or 33% of the total project budget for not-for-profit/public entities and 20% for for-profit entities.

The project must positively contribute to the growth and sustainability of the Thunder Bay tourism economy by filling a gap in the current visitor experiences and/or enhancing a current visitor experience offering.

Applicant Eligibility

The applicant must be a Canadian

Rock Climbing

 legal entity with both not-for-profit and for-profit entities being eligible to apply. 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.

Applicants are encouraged to apply 90 days prior of the project occurring if requesting $50,000 or less, and 120 days prior if requesting over $50,000.


Evaluation considerations that will impact the Tourism Investment Committee’s decision on your application include the below funding criteria:

 Tourism Investment Committee Funding Criteria
  • Alignment with Tourism Thunder Bay values:
    - Expand and improve year-round visitor experiences through an increased focus on destination development
    - Increase the economic impact of tourism through enhanced visitor attraction and retention strategies
    - Supporting Indigenous tourism development and promotion
    - Improving visitor movement through improved wayfinding
    - Support our tourism industry with the tools they need to start-up, diversify, and expand
  • Project economic impact as calculated by CEDC staff using TREIM
  • Maintenance or creation of jobs
  • Organizational financial stability
  • Project financial sustainability
  • Need for funding
  • Leveraged sources of funding
  • Marketing plan effectiveness
  • Influence of the project on overnight stays
  • Media coverage achieved
  • Organizational capacity
  • Project financial viability
  • Partnerships potential or realized
  • Market analysis and uniqueness of the project
  • Ability to attract and retain visitors

Additional Funding Considerations

The CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund 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. In all cases, events 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 an eligible tourism project.

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 

Tourism Business Development or Expansion – Short Form Application – CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund

Tourism Capital Enhancements – Short Form Application – CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund

Tourism Planning – Short Form Application – CEDC Tourism Product Development Fund

Completed short form applications will be submitted by email to CEDC staff for review.

 Long Form Application

If the requirements are met in the short form application, CEDC staff will email the applicant the long form application. 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.

 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 may 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 event is complete.

In all cases, there will be a 50% holdback of funds contingent on a final report and evaluation metrics being met. 

 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, tourism event calendar and social media channels.
 Final Reporting

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

-      The project tourism values and economic impacts

-      An actual profit/loss statement for the project


The final 50% holdback will be paid out based on the evaluation of the metrics submitted in the final report. If the evaluation metrics are met, the final 50% holdback will be released. If the evaluation metrics are not met, the applicant will not receive the final holdback.

Contact Us

John Cameron
Tourism Development Officer