Government of Canada supports return of Canadian National Exhibition and Canadian International Air Show

News release

FedDev Ontario announces over $7.2 million to bring back popular summertime activities to boost local economy

August 19, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has been a summer highlight in Toronto for over 140 years. One of the largest fairs in North America, the CNE welcomes more than 1.5 million attendees each year. Following cancellations in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CNE is set to return today through September 5, bringing millions of visitors to Toronto. The Government of Canada is committed to revitalizing major events and festivals, like the CNE, and positioning them for a strong future.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario ), Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament for Beaches–East York, announced a non-repayable investment of over $7.2 million to support the return of two important Toronto summer events: the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Canadian International Air Show.  

With a non-repayable investment of $7-million, provided through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), the CNE will return with modernized on-site offerings, such as new heritage-themed programming, a new pyrotechnics and drone stage, and the addition of a new structure at the Kids World pavilion. The funding also supports the redesign and improvement of the event's digital presence and enhanced COVID-19 safety measures.

In addition, a non-repayable investment of $250,000 for the Canadian International Air Show, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), will allow the organization to develop new audio and video content to attract virtual visitors to the Toronto waterfront for the first time through its online platform, expanding the visitor reach beyond the in-person experience. Each year, the Air Show draws nearly 1 million spectators to Toronto's waterfront.

The investments announced today will support these events to be better than ever, enhance vibrancy in the city and support spillover economic benefits to the community.

Quotes

"As two of Toronto's largest summer events, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Canadian International Air Show are key in not only welcoming millions of visitors to Toronto, but also in creating and maintaining jobs for numerous artists, vendors and the event production crew. The Government of Canada is proud to support the return of the CNE and the Canadian International Air Show, as major festivals and events like these play an important role in strengthening Canada's economic recovery."
- The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

"Today's investment is helping bring visitors back to two of the largest and most notable events in the Greater Toronto Area. These events play a key role in supporting thousands of local businesses and jobs, while also enhancing community revitalization for residents and the tourism sector alike. Investments, like the ones made today for the CNE and the Canadian International Air Show, will help set up our major festivals and events sector for a resilient future."
- The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"After two hard years of COVID, it's great to have events like the CNE and the Canadian International Air Show back in our city and to have a federal government that is providing the support to make it happen."
- Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament for Beaches–East York

"We could not return without this support from the Government of Canada. Known as Canada’s largest fair, the Canadian National Exhibition is a major contributor to Toronto's economy. Through FedDev Ontario's Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, Toronto will welcome back the event after the past two years with enhanced product offerings which will position the event for future success."
- Darrell Brown, Executive Director, Canadian National Exhibition Association

"The Canadian International Air Show is extremely grateful for the support from the FedDev Ontario Tourism Relief Fund. Without this kind of support we would not have been able to recover from the challenges created by the pandemic. Fans are excited to have the Toronto Airshow return in full force this year."
- Lori Duthie, Executive Director, Canadian International Air Show

Quick facts

  • A 2017 Economic Impact Assessment, conducted by Enigma Research Corporation, reports that the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) generates an estimated $93.1 million for Greater Toronto Area, and more than $128.3 million for the province of Ontario each year.

  • The CNE employs more than 1,000 seasonal employees each event season while bringing together over 700 vendors and concessionaires.

  • The Canadian International Air Show is Canada's largest and longest-running airshow located right in the heart of downtown Toronto and take place over Labour Day Weekend (September 3-5, 2022), as part of CNE festivities. It draws fans from across Canada and the Northeast United States to watch performers over Lake Ontario. 

  • With a national budget of $200 million over two years, the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) supports major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers. The program is delivered in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario. 

  • 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 focused 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 $850 million in more than 1,250 projects in the Toronto area estimated to create over 30,000 jobs and maintain over 43,000 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
feddevontariomediarelations-relationsmedias@feddevontario.gc.ca

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Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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