Government of Canada invests over $1.4 million to support arts and culture in Greater Toronto Area

News release

FedDev Ontario supports five arts and culture projects to expand offerings and continue positioning the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as arts and culture destination in Canada.

July 8, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario

Arts and culture are important to the fabric of our society, offering vital contributions to Canada’s economy. The Government of Canada is committed to seeing events and cultural communities flourish and continue to bring vibrancy and art back to the GTA as the economy transitions to a post-COVID tourism experience and builds a strong and resilient future.

Today, Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a combined Government of Canada investment of over $1.4 million, delivered by FedDev Ontario, for five arts and culture projects. With this Tourism Relief Fund investment, recipients will produce creative and cultural events, showcasing the works of local artists and attracting tourists and artists back to the GTA.

The announcement was made at an event hosted by the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, which received a non-repayable contribution of $140,000 to create an installation of a series of 22 outdoor public art projects and develop a website to feature the artistic works online.

Please see the backgrounder for additional project details.


“With support through the Tourism Relief Fund, we are ensuring local tourism businesses and organizations, such as the five arts and culture organizations supported today, recover from the pandemic and look to the future. Our government is committed to ensuring southern Ontario continues to be a destination of choice for arts and culture enthusiasts, with a strong tourism sector that creates jobs and drives economic activities in local communities.”
– The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Today’s investment helps bring visitors and artists alike back to the Greater Toronto Area. It helps to boost our local businesses and tourism sector while preserving our artistic heritage. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting our tourism and arts and culture sectors in southern Ontario.”   
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“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

“Arts events and spaces are important to the economy and vibrancy of the communities in the Downtown Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, as they draw visitors to the region and provide positive ripple economic benefits to local businesses. Today’s FedDev Ontario investment will help to enhance existing spaces and events that will draw visitors and artists, boosting jobs and revenue in the region.”
– Julie Dzerowicz, Member of Parliament for Davenport

“It is our great pleasure to acknowledge the incredible support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario - the 26th Edition would not have been what it was without it. Our audience returned in great numbers bringing back tourism and vibrancy to our great city.”
– Darcy Killeen, CEO, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

"The Tourism Relief Fund was instrumental in providing the resources the Toronto Biennial of Art needed to provide 72 days of free art to visitors from across the city, province, country and the world. We are so grateful to FedDev Ontario for providing critical funding to host the largest in-person arts event Toronto has seen in over two years."
– Patrizia Libralato, Executive Director, Toronto Biennial of Art

Quick facts

  • In 2019, Ontario's arts and culture sector represented more than $28 billion or 3.5% of the province's gross domestic product and supports over 300,000 jobs. 

  • Established in 1997, CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization celebrating the art and profession of photography, and hosts the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, which typically sees more than 1.5 million visitors, including 400,000 tourists from outside of the city.

  • The Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. For 10 weeks, every two years, local, national, and international Biennial artists transform Toronto and its partner regions with free exhibitions, performances, and learning opportunities. In 2019, the event generated $29 million in visitor spending and contributed $17 million directly into the Toronto economy. The event took place between March 26 and June 5, 2022.

  • The Government of Canada’s $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the Fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous focussed projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario. 

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $520 million in over 600 projects in Toronto, creating over 25,000 jobs and maintaining more than 33,000 jobs.

Associated links


Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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