New Program Aims to Spark Innovative Tourism Ideas

September 18, 2020
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – A new program looks to spark innovative tourism ideas for Cornwall and SDG Counties, providing needed support for a sector that has been showing signs of growth over the past number of years.

Ontario Tourism Spark Cornwall

The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program will match selected applicants from the region with a tourism mentor and provide a $3,000 grant to help take their new tourism idea to the next level of development.

“I am proud to support such a collaborative, and innovative program, that is sure to bring new ideas and life to Cornwall and the SDG Counties,” said Mayor Bernadette Clement. “This program is a great way to focus on the tourism industry in a time that has been particularly hard for tourism-based businesses. I am eager to see what new initiatives may come from the program.”

Innovation in the tourism industry is critical for the region to respond, adapt and recover from the significant impacts and evolving travel landscape as a result of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

“Tourism is the foundation many of our local entrepreneurs build their businesses upon,” said Frank Prevost, Warden of the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry. “Everyone is working diligently to find innovative ways to ensure our local tourism industry not only endures the COVID-19 outbreak, but secures a bright future through responding, adapting and recovering from the crisis. The Spark Mentorships & Grants Program is an excellent resource that fosters new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will add to the success of businesses for the present, and future.”

The Spark Program is offered by the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab in over 10 regions across the province. Its goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits.

“We are excited to be launching the “Spark” Program in Cornwall & SDG Counties,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead of the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab. “We are keen to spark and support new tourism ideas that will enhance the region’s tourism offerings and drive innovation.”

Program Details

The “Spark” Program will match selected candidates with a tourism mentor and provide a source of financial support to help take your great new tourism idea to the next level of development or implementation. Selected applicants will receive:

  • 3 month mentorship with a tourism innovator, experienced operator, industry leader and/or sector expert
  • $3,000 “Spark” grant to support tourism idea development activities
  • Access to a support network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders
  • Ongoing guidance on other resources and support services provided by partners

All program applicants will be invited to join the Spark community of tourism innovators, idea makers, partners and supporters for special networking events, one-on-one’s, and development workshops.

The Cornwall & SDG Counties “Spark” Program is a partnership between Cornwall Tourism, the Cornwall Tourism Development Fund, SDG Counties, and the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab.

How to Apply

Applications are encouraged from individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations based in Cornwall & SDG Counties from September 17 to October 30, 2020. Following a review process, the top applicants will be invited to a Pitch Session where three finalists will be selected.  For more information on the “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program, application guide and info sessions, go to:

About Cornwall Tourism

Cornwall Tourism is responsible for marketing Cornwall to attract new visitors. The office maintains a visitor information centre year-round at the Civic Complex. is an online resource that provides current tourism news as well as a comprehensive calendar of events.

You can follow Cornwall Tourism online:








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