Government of Canada announces investment to support inclusive tourism on the Northeast Avalon

News release

Government of Canada announces investment to support inclusive tourism on the Northeast Avalon

Funding will support Pride Week 2019 celebrations under the theme Pride and Progress, as well as future St. John’s Pride Inc. events  

July 12, 2019 – St, John’s, NL – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 

Tourism is an inclusive sector that showcases Canada’s culture, diversity, natural beauty and unique experiences to the world. It delivers economic benefits across the country by supporting one in ten jobs. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in our tourism sector’s businesses and assets. 

Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl and Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John's East, announced funding of $16,754 to support St. John’s Pride Inc. as it leads a series of pride initiatives, including Pride Week 2019 celebrations (July 12-21, 2019), and other events taking place in the fall and winter. This investment is being made through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF), which supports Canadian businesses and organizations seeking to create, improve or enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. 

Thanks to the Government of Canada’s support for projects like St. John’s Pride Inc.’s Pride Week 2019, Canadians and visitors to Canada will be able to experience signature events centred around LGBTQ2 tourism. Pride Week 2019 will feature the Pride Parade taking place on July 14, as well as a provincial flag raising, networking, and sporting events.

 This announcement takes place in the wake of Minister Joly’s announcement of the new tourism strategy: Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Strategy, which was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country.


“St. John’s Pride has done a tremendous job in planning and executing pride initiatives throughout the northeast Avalon, generating awareness and support of the local LGBTQ2 community.  The Government of Canada is pleased to support activities that not only offer unique experiences for tourists, but also strengthen the spirit of inclusivity and diversity in our communities.”

– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl 

“Canada is known the world over as a safe and inclusive destination for LGBTQ2 travelers. This investment will help strengthen our brand, centred on shared values of diversity and equality, as well as draw more tourists to beautiful St. John’s.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie 

“Innovation doesn’t only happen in big cities; it happens in all regions of Canada. That’s why our regional development agencies play an important role in helping businesses turn innovation into economic growth and good jobs for Canadians. Through the CEF, our government is investing in the development of our tourism sector and the economic potential of our vibrant communities.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development 

“As a townie growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I can speak to the sea of change in attitudes towards people whose sexual orientation, gender identity and expression used to set them apart. Events like Pride rally our community around the belief that “all people” are deserving of respect and equal rights, and a sense of belonging in a community that once shut them out. We are proud to support this community and their efforts to promote and protect their human rights.”

– Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East 

“2019 is both the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion and of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. Locally, as we mark the one-year anniversary of the events of Botwood and Springdale, we see Springdale's youth smiling and supported, the kids of Botwood comforted and secure, and full support for Gays as provided by the Government of Canada. There is still more to do to make our Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit communities the best they can be, and we can do beautiful things together. I invite everyone to join St. John's Pride, and our families, friends, and sponsors, as we march in Pride, toward Progress.” 

– Derek Semerad, Co-Chair of Internal, St. John’s Pride

Quick facts

  • Tourism represents more than 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.

  • Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada.

  • Regional development agencies are one of Canada’s four flagship platforms supporting innovation, along with the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fund and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

  • Canada has six regional development agencies supporting economic development in every region of Canad

  • St. John’s Pride Inc. is a non-profit volunteer run organization that serves the LGBTQ2 community by providing and facilitating educational, networking and awareness-raising opportunities, and recognizing and celebrating the contributions and diversity of LGBTQ2 people.

  • Over the past five years, Pride St. John's has seen the scope of the organization grow significantly and has experienced a more than 400 percent increase in membership.

  • St. John’s Pride Week and, in particular, The Pride Parade, are significant and established tourism attractions in Newfoundland and Labrador, attracting both residents and out-of-province tourists.

Associated links


Jeremy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Paul McGrath
Director, Communications

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