FedNor announces whack of new spending in tourism support for Georgian Bay and the North Channel

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) has announced more than $8.7 million in tourism support, a fair bit of which is going to recipients in Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Here are the relevant details from the FedNor announcement:

Town of Parry Sound

The Town of Parry Sound is receiving a non-repayable investment of $494,250 through the TRF to complete a re-design of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame’s exhibit space in time to coincide with the facility’s 20th anniversary in 2023. The project will result in a new visitor experience with the creation of a more flexible exhibition area that will serve to re-interpret Parry Sound’s sport heritage. The new energy-efficient space will feature inductees into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame and will also honor the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action to tell the story of Aboriginal athletes in Canadian history. In addition, a new science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) gallery will allow for the expansion of educational program offerings, and a new exhibit in partnership with the Georgian Bay Biosphere will serve as a place where people can learn about the region and its ecological significance. This initiative is expected to generate eight jobs during planning and construction, and another five permanent jobs, while maintaining five more.

Wikwemikong Development Commission

The Wikwemikong Development Commission will receive a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $492,184 to support phase two of the community’s Point Grondine Park development project. Specifically, the funding will be used to construct an off-grid comfort station that features solar power and various energy and water-saving technologies. The facility will be fully accessible, improve health and safety amenities at the adventure park, attract more visitors to the area, and create further opportunities to share Anishnawbek culture. This project will help maintain two seasonal positions and create 10 full time jobs during the construction phase of the initiative.

Township of Billings

A non-repayable FedNor investment of $264,376 through TRF will allow the Township of Billings to advance phase two of its Kagawong Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. Specifically, this targeted investment will help modernize the Austin Hunt Marina to enhance the visitor experience and increase spending at local businesses. Upgrades to the marina will including expanded dockage, shoreline stabilization with sheet piling, a walking path and improved parking. Once complete this tourism initiative is expected attract more boaters to the community and create 6 local jobs.

Town of Gore Bay

The Town of Gore Bay, on the north shore of Manitoulin Island, is receiving $249,000 through the TRF to upgrade its waterfront and boardwalk to attract more tourists, and in turn, increase spending at local businesses. Specifically, the funding will be used to construct two bridges, pave the front parking lot of the Harbour Centre (an arts incubator and museum hub), landscape the shoreline and install educational signage, flooring and a chairlift to enhance accessibility of the centre’s third-floor museum. This project will create six jobs during the construction phase.

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

A non-repayable FedNor contribution of $159,871 is helping the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve develop sustainable eco-adventure and cultural tourism products aimed at creating value-added experiences for tourists with a special focus on Viking’s Great Lake Cruise liners. The not-for-profit organization is coordinating shoreline excursions for guests from May to September 2022. The funding is being used to develop capacity to offer this service for Parry Sound and build the experience to support future and expanded cruise ship tourism. This project will create two new full-time equivalent jobs and up to 12 part-time positions in direct support of servicing new tourism experiences.

Park to Park Trail Association

The Park to Park Trail Association, which has worked to develop, build and maintain trails across the 10 municipalities between Killbear and Algonquin Provincial Parks, is benefitting from a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $102,500. The funding will support the development of an interpretive signage and associated digital interpretive program to enhance the tourism experience in the regions of Parry Sound, Muskoka, Almaguin Highlands, and Algonquin Park. The project will create and support innovative tourism offerings attractive to local, domestic and international visitors by supporting the development and implementation of interpretive signage integrated into digital storytelling for self-guided, outdoor, interactive experiences. One part-time job will be created during the development and implementation of the project.

North Channel Cruise Line

A non-repayable FedNor contribution of $100,000 will help the North Channel Cruise Line to modernize and complete clean energy upgrades to its 100 passenger tour vessel. This strategic investment will help meet the growing demand for the company’s services, create jobs and new tour products, and to improve the environmental efficiency of its operations. Specifically the funding will be used to replace the vessel’s propulsion system, install 16 solar panels to power electrical systems, modify and improve the cabin to enhance safety, and open a second ticketing outlet on the docks in Killarney, Ontario, to expand cruise and ferry services to Manitoulin Island. Once complete, this project is expected to create one permanent and six seasonal full-time jobs.

Town of Blind River

The Town of Blind River is receiving a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $500,000 to replace existing infrastructure and create a fully accessible dock area with electrical and potable water access at each of its 24 transient boat slips. In addition, the project will establish an emergency docking area to provide boats in distress a safe harbour and create an area for private-sector businesses to work on boats that are too large to be trailered to a land-based workshop. This project builds upon a recently completed FedNor investment to construct a new boardwalk with accessible features, erect a pavilion, and market the community as an accessible tourism destination. Once complete, the project will connect visitors to the community’s downtown area and public beach.

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