Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Canadian Experiences Fund

The Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) provides $58.5 million ($6 million in Atlantic Canada) over two years to support communities across Canada as they create, improve or enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences.

Initiative

The CEF is part of the Government of Canada’s renewed efforts to support the tourism sector, which includes Creating Middle Class Jobs: a Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Fund will see investments made in the types of products and experiences that showcase Canada’s strengths, while also growing tourism beyond major cities and the summer season.

The window for application will remain open until funding runs out.

Categories and Criteria

Investments made through the CEF will focus on five categories:

  • Expand winter and shoulder-season tourism by funding projects like onsite experiences development, tours, excursions, special events and tourism facilities;
  • Grow tourism in rural and remote communities by investing in projects such as community beautification, onsite fishing or winery experience development, adventure, eco- and agritourism, local product development, or rural and remote tourism facilities;
  • Increase Indigenous tourism by investing in such projects as market readiness, onsite experiences development, developing a line of consumer products, tours, festivals and special events;
  • Promote inclusiveness, especially for the LGBTQ2 community, by supporting ‘train the trainer’ programs, projects such as attractions, special events and festivals as well as market readiness; and
  • Boost culinary and farm-to-table experiences, by funding projects in areas including culinary tourism trails, farmers markets, onsite experiences development in various locations (e.g. farms, breweries, orchards).

Project proposals that also meet asset criteria may be given preference. These criteria pertain to skills development, job creation, economic sustainability as well as environmental sustainability.

Eligibility

The CEF is open to a wide-variety of organizations, including not-for-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, industry associations as well as local or Indigenous governments. Provincial and federal government organisations are not eligible.

  • Non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive CEF funding up to 100 per cent of eligible costs.
  • For-profit businesses may be eligible to receive funding up to 75 per cent on a repayable basis, depending on the types of costs.
Eligible projects will support the growth and diversification of the tourism sector. These activities may include:
  • Planning and development of tourism products and services: improving or designing new tourism services and products such as tours, special events and festivals
  • Market readiness training: working with tourism associations to provide training to businesses to market their products, adopt foreign payment systems, manage cultural differences, etc.; and
  • Creating or improving tourism facilities: physical assets used by tourists such as trails, campgrounds, and shelters.

More information

Contact us for additional information regarding the Canadian Experiences Fund.