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Government of Canada Supports Calgary Folk Music Festival

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 07/21/09 -- The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $290 000 to support the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

"Today's funding announcement will benefit not only the Calgary Folk Music Festival, but also all of the local businesses that provide services to everyone who comes out to attend this festival," said Minister Clement. "Our government is proud to show its commitment to the visitor economy, particularly during this difficult economic period."

"We are very excited and grateful to receive this important tourism investment from the Government of Canada," said Kerry Clarke, Artistic Director of the Calgary Folk Music Festival. "The government's support will allow us to expand our marketing reach to target international tourists. It will also provide an important stimulus to the local economy, highlighting Canada's folk music industry to the world and helping to shine a spotlight on Alberta's other fantastic events, sights and attributes, making Calgary and Alberta top-of-mind destinations."

Annually, the Calgary Folk Music Festival features a four-day outdoor extravaganza in Prince's Island Park, bringing together over 60 local, domestic and international artists from a wide variety of music genres.

The Marquee Tourism Events Program funding will make it possible to expand the reach of the Calgary Folk Music Festival and promote travel to Alberta by supporting the introduction of an international marketing strategy and tourism packages. Activities aimed at drawing new audiences will focus on the Pacific Northwest, New York and other U.S. and Canadian markets.

The Government of Canada, through the Marquee Tourism Events Program, is investing $100 million over two years to assist marquee events across the country. This budget funding will help event organizers expand their reach and promote Canada as a must-see tourist destination to visitors from around the globe. Additional projects are now being reviewed, and successful applicants are expected to be announced at a future date.

Funding is provided through the Marquee Tourism Events Program, which is one of several tourism-related programs in the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. These programs provide measures to support Canada's economy, stimulate the growth of tourism and contribute to the development of Canada's visitor economy over the long term. They include:

- $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites; and

- $40 million over two years to the Canadian Tourism Commission for domestic and international marketing.

For more information, please visit the Marquee Tourism Events Program (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/dsib-tour.nsf/eng/home) website or the Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp) website.

BACKGROUNDER

The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP)

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $100 million in funding over two years for marquee tourism events that draw a significant number of tourists to Canada.

Marquee tourism events provide significant cultural, sporting and recreational opportunities for Canadians and attract national and international audiences to all parts of the country. Support for these events contributes to Canada's visitor economy by sustaining or increasing the level of tourism and tourism-related spending that benefits hotels, restaurants and a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.

As a result, the Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) will provide funding to support annually recurring, world-class events that generate significant levels of tourism and that aim to attract a significant amount of international media attention to Canada as a tourism destination. Events must be well-established and have a tradition of programming excellence.

The Government of Canada recognizes that tourism is an important driver of economic activity in all regions of Canada and that further expansion of Canada's tourism industry can increase tourism export revenues and provide stimulus to the economy at a critical time.

The program requirements are strict and targeted. All interested applicants for the MTEP must demonstrate how their event will contribute to the objectives of the program to help events deliver enhanced world-class programs and experiences, thereby increasing or sustaining the number of tourists from within and outside Canada. If funding is provided, all applicants will be required to provide annual audited financial statements for the years in which funding is received and the two years following the completion of the proposed project. An independent study examining the economic impact of the funding is also required. Applicants will also be subject to monitoring and independent audits for the funds received.

The economic impact of the tourism industry is significant, representing 2 percent of Canada's gross domestic product, over 662 900 jobs in all regions across the country and $20 billion in government revenues.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is intended to stimulate the economy and invest in our long-term growth. The tourism initiatives in this plan lay out a framework for branding Canada as a tourism destination of choice for domestic and international visitors.

Contacts:
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
Laryssa Waler - A/Press Secretary
613-995-9001

Industry Canada
Media Relations
613-943-2502

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