Vancouver organizations receive almost $3 million to enhance local tourism experiences 

News release

Image of the interior of a movie theatre with VIFF logo on the screen. Text reads: Vancouver organizations receive almost $3M to enhance local tourism experiences

The Government of Canada is making investments in British Columbia to attract new visitors and stimulate local economies

April 17, 2023 – Vancouver, British Columbia – PacifiCan

Dynamic tourism attractions are key to vibrant communities. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, supporting businesses and boosting economic vitality.

A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to the Government’s ongoing efforts to build an economy that works for all Canadians. Throughout British Columbia, communities are ready to welcome residents and visitors to enjoy new and improved tourism experiences.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $2.9 million in PacifiCan funding through the Tourism Relief Fund for 14 projects in Vancouver.

Among these projects, the Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society is receiving $500,000 to revitalize the organization’s annual film festival events, which include screenings, conferences, live performances, and free outdoor programming. The Vancouver International Film Festival is a key attraction for visitors during the city’s shoulder season and helps promote B.C.’s growing film and television industry. 

Funding for the other 13 projects will help local organizations and businesses in areas such as:

  • Restoring events like the Vancouver Fringe Festival and International Jazz Festival,
  • Supporting cultural events like Latincouver and the Dragon Boat Festival,
  • Revitalizing venues like the Granville Island Stage, and
  • Creating new public spaces and experiences in Gastown.

For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder here.

These investments are expected to create approximately 430 new jobs and attract over 514,000 new local, national and international visitors to Vancouver.

Today’s funding announcement builds on the recent openings of PacifiCan offices across British Columbia. With new officers living in and providing service throughout the province, PacifiCan is more accessible.  


“By restoring popular local festivals, improving arts and culture venues, and offering new tools to tourism companies, today’s funding will help attract people to Vancouver from all around the world. It will also create over 400 quality jobs. PacifiCan continues to be here to help local organizations recover from the pandemic and other challenges. Investing in tourism experiences will bring people together and help British Columbians thrive well into the future.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

"Vancouver Centre is comprised of vibrant and diverse organizations, making our neighbourhoods centerpieces for tourism in Vancouver. Today’s announcement of $2.9 million in Tourism Relief funding directly benefits 10 community organizations from Granville Island, Gastown and the West End.  This investment will enhance Vancouver’s tourism sector and foster exceptional opportunities for visitors and locals alike to experience the best of Vancouver’s arts, culture and entertainment."
- Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., Member of Parliament Vancouver Centre

“Like many organizations in the cultural and tourism industries, the past three years have been incredibly challenging for VIFF. This funding is instrumental in us rebuilding Vancouver’s large event workforce and re-establishing our annual festival as a vibrant international attraction. It ensures a fully realized festival that reasserts Vancouver's position on the global cinema stage, ignites international attendance, and garners national recognition. Rather than simply surviving this difficult moment, VIFF will accelerate towards future financial sustainability.”
- Kyle Fostner, Executive Director, Vancouver International Film Festival

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.

  • PacifiCan opened new offices in Kelowna, Cranbrook, Victoria, Campbell River, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John in 2022. These offices serve businesses and communities, including Indigenous communities, across the province. PacifiCan will open its headquarters in Surrey, British Columbia at a future date.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund program was launched in the summer of 2021.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations with adapting their operations to meet public health requirements, while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth. 

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Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan)

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager

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