Government of Canada invests over $12.3 million for major festivals and events in southern Ontario

News release

FedDev Ontario supports return of Tennis Canada’s National Bank Open tournament and Boots and Hearts Music Festival

August 3, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario

Festivals and events are a major contributor to the Canadian economy bringing millions of visitors to our country each year. The ripple effects of these activities play a key role in supporting our tourism and hospitality sectors. The Government of Canada is committed to revitalizing major events and festivals and the hard-hit tourism industry, while strengthening communities and local economies.

Today, the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a combined investment of over $12.3 million to support the return of Tennis Canada's National Bank Open tournament and the Boots and Hearts Music Festival (Boots and Hearts), operated by Republic Live. This combined investment is provided through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative.

Tennis Canada operates the men’s and women’s National Bank Open presented by Rogers tournaments, with the events alternating annually between Montréal and Toronto. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennis Canada cancelled all tournaments in 2020 and operated with limited attendance in 2021.

The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is providing a non-repayable investment of over $9.3 million to support the return of the National Bank Open to Toronto from August 6-14. This investment supports tournament enhancements, such as infrastructure upgrades to accommodate more fans and improvements to product offerings, including the delivery of the UNMATCHED: Gender Equity in Sports Conference, featuring world-renowned tennis champion Billie Jean King, to take place August 10. Today’s announcement is part of a nearly $20-million investment in Tennis Canada, which includes a $10-million non-repayable investment, also announced today by the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions to support the men’s National Bank Open tournament in Montréal.

Boots and Hearts is the largest country music and camping festival in Canada and five-time winner of the Canadian Country Music Awards festival of the year. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. With a repayable contribution of over $3 million, Republic Live will be able to return to the event to its pre-COVID scale and scope in 2022, with four days of performances on both the main and secondary stages, and enhanced health and sanitization-related measures to deliver a safe festival environment.

These investments will enable event organizers to safely welcome visitors and be better positioned for long-term success, while providing spillover economic and job benefits to businesses across the region.

Quotes

“Major festivals and tourist attractions, such as Tennis Canada’s National Bank Open tournament and Boots and Hearts Music Festival, are vital to the local economy attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to southern Ontario. Through the Major Festivals and Event Support Initiative, the Government of Canada is helping these organizations bounce back from the pandemic and drive local economic growth to the region.”
– The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Major events and festivals are vital for the local economy. The National Bank Open attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to Toronto, Montréal and the surrounding area, generating significant revenues and creating jobs throughout the region. Today’s investment will not only help Tennis Canada recover from the pandemic, but also position itself for future growth by bringing high-level talent, increased tourism revenues for local businesses and economic growth in the region.”
– The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

“Our festivals and sporting events are an important means of conveying our culture and heritage in Ontario and all across Canada. With support from the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative, our cultural and sporting events can continue to attract visitors from all over and create good jobs locally.”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister responsible for Canadian Heritage

“We are very grateful for the financial support given to us by CED and FedDev Ontario. While the past two years have been challenging for our organization due to the pandemic, the assistance offered by the Government of Canada will allow Tennis Canada to make significant improvements to its facilities. In addition to enhancing the quality of our two international events in Montréal and Toronto, which continue to grow in popularity, the upgrades made to our venues will also allow us to optimize fan experience for years to come and contribute to expand our ability to attract tourism and therefore drive economic value."
– Gavin Ziv, Senior Vice President, Professional Events at Tennis Canada

“Needless to say, there have been unprecedented challenges in the festival business over the course of the pandemic and the world has changed significantly since our last edition of Boots and Hearts in 2019. The funds provided under this program will assist in our ultimate goal of making sure we delight our loyal fans and enable us to provide time-of-your-life experiences again this summer.”
– Todd Jeneraux, Executive Vice President, Republic Live (Boots and Hearts)

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. The National Bank Open presented by Rogers tournaments normally sees tens of millions of dollars in tourist spending over the duration of the event.

  • Since 2012, the annual Boots and Hearts Music Festival, promoted and produced by Republic Live, has featured some of the highest profile country music talent in the world. Holding its position among the highest-profile country music events in North America, the festival is a landmark event in rural Simcoe County bringing in over $35 million in local tourist spending over the four-day event.

  • The Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) is a $200 million national fund to support major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 as they adapt and enhance their events. The program is delivered in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario and in Quebec by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED).

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $850 million in more than 1,250 projects in Toronto area, estimated to create over 30,000 jobs and maintain more than 43,000 jobs.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $30 million in more than 90 projects in rural Simcoe County, estimated to create over 250 jobs and maintain more than 600 jobs.

Associated links

Contacts

Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
monica.granados@feddevontario.gc.ca

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
fdo.mediarel-relmedias.fdo@feddevontario.gc.ca

Stay Connected

Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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