Dartmouth will benefit from new offerings to help the tourism sector recover and attract visitors in the region

News release

From left: FlameOz, RubenDotDot and Swaypoles are among the performers expected on the Dartmouth waterfront during the Halifax Busker Festival, July 27 to August 1.

Government of Canada continues to support the tourism sector for a strong recovery and future growth

April 21, 2022 · Dartmouth, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canada has much to offer the world as travel safely resumes: breathtaking landscapes and wide open spaces; diverse and inclusive experiences; and welcoming people from coast to coast to coast who provide outstanding service. Combined with a strong focus on health and safety and high COVID-19 vaccination rates, Canada is among the most alluring and smartest destination choices for visitors.

The pandemic has had an undeniable impact on Canada’s tourism sector. The Government of Canada has helped keep tourism businesses open and the Tourism Relief Fund will help them be even better positioned to welcome back guests.

Today, Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth, announced a non-repayable investment of $100,000 through the Tourism Relief Fund for the expansion of the Halifax Busker Festival in Dartmouth. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the ACOA.

The expansion includes international busker and music performances at Alderney Landing and Ferry Terminal Park in Dartmouth. The funding will enable the Festival to hire 10 to 12 new contract staff, secure high profile performers and embark on a marketing campaign to local, national and international audiences. Attracting more people to the Festival will benefit businesses in both Dartmouth and Halifax, where the Halifax Busker Festival began 36 years ago. 

Launched in July 2021, the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) was created to help organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, offer innovative products and services to visitors and prepare to welcome back travellers. The TRF is administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).


“As we recover from this pandemic, we are focused on being there for the tourism sector. With the support announced today, tourism businesses and organizations in Dartmouth and the rest of the Halifax Regional Municipality will be able to prepare for the future. This is an important step in the recovery effort that will allow visitors to discover the world-class tourism experiences Atlantic Canada has to offer.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Canadian tourism sector continues to be one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting businesses and organizations through these challenging times, keeping safety as the top priority while ensuring they get support to quickly recover, innovate their products and services, and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements, and be ready to welcome back guests. It also feeds into a broader strategy to help the sector survive the pandemic, recover and grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“For more than three decades the Halifax Busker Festival has been a beloved annual tradition for folks of all ages, and I am thrilled to welcome the festival to Dartmouth! With so many wonderful restaurants and shops nearby, these incredible performances will become part of what makes this place so special.”
- Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth

Quick facts

  • Since 1986, the Halifax International Busker Festival has been located along the Halifax waterfront. It attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually.

  • The 2022 Halifax Busker Festival, July 27 to August 1, will feature hundreds of shows by street performers from around the world including musicians, fire breathers, acrobats, magicians, and more on multiple stages.

  • The tourism sector is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2019, tourism generated over $104 billion in revenue and directly employed 692,000 people, including those in underrepresented groups like women, students, racialized people, and Indigenous populations.

  • With a national budget of $500 million, including $485 million for regional priorities administered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and $15 million for national priorities administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Tourism Relief Fund is part of the billion dollars in tourism support announced in Budget 2021

  • A minimum of $50 million of the fund’s budget has been earmarked for Indigenous tourism projects. Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

  • $48.5 million from the Tourism Relief Fund has been allocated to ACOA to administer the fund in the Atlantic region.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Chris Brooks
Communications Director
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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