Minister Boissonnault announces federal investments in Alberta’s tourism economy

News release

$17.8 million boost for Alberta tourism

PrairiesCan funding, of over $17.8 million, will go to 50 organizations to enhance and create new tourism experiences, events and attractions across Alberta

February 27, 2023 – Edmonton, Alberta – PrairiesCan

Alberta is home to remarkable natural landscapes, vibrant communities and passionate storytellers that attract visitors from across Canada and around the world. The tourism industry is a significant economic driver all across Alberta, supporting businesses and high quality jobs. Tourism operators and communities continue to welcome more visitors, and the Government of Canada is making significant investments to enhance and create new experiences to attract regional, national, and international visitors.  

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced more than $17.8 million in federal funding for 50 tourism-focused projects across Alberta. This federal investment will attract more people to explore Alberta destinations, bringing economic benefits to communities all across the province. 

Funding will support a wide-range of initiatives for communities, attractions, hospitality businesses, museums and events. Here are just some of the unique projects and experiences receiving PrairiesCan funding:

  • Travel Alberta is receiving $3.25 million to create regional destination development plans focused on increasing visitation to diverse tourism destinations in Alberta that have capacity for more visitors.
  • Métis Crossing in Smoky Lake is receiving $1.45 million to add year-round Sky Watching Domes that complement Indigenous programming and support more choice for visitors looking to stay overnight at Alberta’s first major Métis cultural interpretive destination.
  • TELUS World of Science - Edmonton is receiving $2 million to add new exhibitions dedicated to human health and the Arctic, enhance Indigenous-programming spaces, incorporate new projection equipment into the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium, and other upgrades.
  • National Music Centre in Calgary is receiving $1 million to host musical productions, conferences, and interactive exhibitions that draw visitors to Studio Bell in the city’s downtown core.
  • Alberta Small Brewers Association is receiving $525,000 to build The Alberta Ale Trail, a self-guided tour network that will increase awareness of and visitation to breweries in urban and rural locations across Alberta.
  • The Town of Sylvan Lake is receiving $297,000 to develop a 10-year Destination Management Plan that helps the community and local businesses sustainably grow year-round tourism.

Funding for these projects is provided through PrairiesCan under the Tourism Relief Fund and is expected to help support more than 2,800 jobs across the province. 


“A strong tourism industry creates economic opportunity and jobs in communities throughout Alberta. Our government is investing in growing Alberta’s tourism operators and attractions so they can continue sharing the natural beauty, rich culture and unique experiences that Alberta has to offer to visitors from all parts of the world.”
–The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan

“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

“Today’s announcement is more good news for Alberta’s tourism sector. This new funding augments robust investment that the Alberta Government has already made to support the recovery, growth and long-term prosperity of our visitor economy. Tourism generates jobs for Albertans and economic opportunity throughout province. Support from all levels of government is instrumental in ensuring future success in this area.”
–Hon. Todd Loewen, Ministry of Forestry, Parks and Tourism, Government of Alberta

"It is very encouraging to learn of PrairiesCan’s significant investments into the Edmonton region’s tourism industry. The Edmonton region has a diverse and distinctive cultural, natural and recreational landscape that makes it an optimal destination for tourists, and this funding will help the region grow to its full potential in terms of post-pandemic economic recovery. I look forward to welcoming more tourists to the Edmonton region, to amplifying the incredible opportunities that our region has to offer, and to continuing to diversify our economy in sustainable and vibrant ways in collaboration with PrairiesCan and our government partners."
–Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor, City of Edmonton

“This co-investment will help us grow the quantity and quality of unique tourism destinations across the province, ensuring all Albertans can realize the economic, social, and cultural benefits of a robust visitor economy.”
–David Goldstein, CEO, Travel Alberta

“As an Indigenous tourism destination, Métis Crossing is providing our guests with a truly distinctive travel experience that not only provides a variety of unique accommodations and Indigenous culinary offerings, but also resonates with our people by reflecting our history and the experiences of our ancestors. The Métis people’s connection with the land and the sky are at the core of our lived experiences. Our new Sky Watching Domes will help us as we continue to share this story and the Métis experience with a global audience. Métis Crossing thanks the Government of Canada for their support as we continue to build as an Indigenous destination.”
–Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing

“We are extremely grateful to receive support from the Federal Government and PrairiesCan. This funding has allowed us to create exceptional new spaces to explore. It will increase both Indigenous and Science focused programming that will attract visitors from across Canada and internationally to discover Edmonton’s Science Centre.”
–Alan Nursall, President and CEO, TELUS World of Science - Edmonton

Quick facts

  • The Tourism Relief Fund helps organizations in the tourism sector adapt operations to meet public health requirements, offer innovative products and services to visitors, and prepare to welcome travelers to Canada. PrairiesCan administers the Fund in the Prairie Provinces.

  • With a budget of $500 million over two years, including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million for national initiatives, this fund is positioning Canada to be a destination of choice for domestic and international travel.

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Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communication Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Prairies Economic Development Canada

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