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A fifth round of the “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program has been launched to encourage Bruce County entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations to create new sustainable tourism ideas for the region. 

The program provides selected applicants with a $3,000 grant, mentorship and additional partner support to help get them started. Previous Bruce County participants were selected for forest bathing experiences, guided land-based and on-water ecotours, mobile SUP Board rentals, Indigenous tourism experiences, wellness retreats, transparent kayak adventures, dog-sledding tours, and winter glamping retreats.

Organizers are looking for sustainable tourism ideas that will enhance Bruce County’s current tourism offerings, create high-quality, low impact tourism experiences, address gaps in tourism products and services, motivate longer stays and repeat visits, and increase shoulder season visits and tourism spending.

The Bruce County “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program is a partnership between Bruce County, Bruce Power, Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) and the Tourism Innovation Lab.

“Bruce County is proud to partner with Tourism Innovation Lab, Bruce Power and Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) to offer mentorship and grants to innovative entrepreneurs through the “Spark” Program. This partnership aims to encourage and support entrepreneurs to offer sustainable tourism experiences in Bruce County,” says Bruce County Warden Chris Peabody.

“The “Spark” Mentorship and Grants Program rewards innovation within our community, and we are excited to continue to support this project and its goals,” said John Peevers, Bruce Power’s Director of Community and Media Relations, and Economic Development. “Innovation is a part of our company culture and this program aligns with our approach to acknowledging and rewarding the development of new ideas and promoting economic growth in our community.”

“RTO7 is pleased to continue to partner on the launch of the 5th Edition of the Bruce County Innovation Lab.  We feel that this program creates a fantastic support system for people with new and innovative ideas that help build a sustainable tourism industry” said Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7.

“Since 2019, we have been inspired by the creativity, passion and innovative spirit of our Bruce County “Spark” Program winners. We are excited to continue to spark and support new sustainable tourism ideas across the region,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab. 

Applications will be accepted from September 19th to October 19th, 2023. Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.

For more information on the Bruce County “Spark” Program and to register for an upcoming Info Session visit this website.  

Bruce County is an upper-tier municipality in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, made up of 8 lower-tier municipalities and 68,423 residents. The explorers who visit, live, and work here are the dreamers who take roads less travelled and see tried and true as an invitation to try something new. Be an Explorer and call Bruce County home.


source: media release, Bruce County


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