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Over $100,000 to Support Mattawa Voyageur Days and Bluesfest

July 28, 2023

Province funding music and culture festivals in Northeastern Ontario

NORTH BAY – Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing announced that the Ontario government is investing $105,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and the Experience Ontario 2023 Program to support two festivals in the Nipissing District. These investments will help showcase northern talent, boost local tourism and raise the profile of the music industry in Northern Ontario.

“By investing in festivals and events, our government is increasing our community profile and promoting economic development in Nipissing,” said MPP Vic Fedeli. “Mattawa Voyageur Days and the Capitol Centre’s Bluesfest are annual events that many people travel to our region to experience, and we are looking forward to some excellent shows.”

Local funding for festivals includes the following:

The Town of Mattawa’s Mattawa Voyageur Days. The annual festival features performances by Canadian musicians, along with family friendly activities, artisans and street buskers. New additions to the festival this year include a rock climbing wall, midway rides, a kids fun zone and lazer tag in the local arena. The festival will end with a large display of fireworks at Explorer’s Point. 

  • $76,250 through the Experience Ontario 2023 Program
  • $15,000 through the NOHFC’s Community Events Stream

The North Bay Theatre and Community Arts (Capitol Centre) Bluesfest 2023. An annual festival centered around the blues music genre that focuses on local and regional musicians and artists. Bluesfest encourages community building and is offered at an accessible price point, with free events available throughout the week.

  • $15,000 through the NOHFC’s Community Events Stream

“With funding from the province, the Town is able to add new and exciting activities for families, such as midway rides and diverse entertainment, to ensure that the festival is growing each year and is inclusive for all,” said Raymond Belanger, Mayor of the Town of Mattawa. “The planning committee has been hard at work to make this festival a great time for everyone and we look forward to seeing familiar and new faces there this weekend!”

Experience Ontario is a provincial grant program that supports festivals and events that motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, while connecting people with local experiences and increasing visitor spending. The 2023 program is providing $19.5 million in support to over 280 festivals and events across the province.

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $685 million in 5,656 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 9,000 jobs.

Quick Facts

  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting approximately 395,000 jobs and generating over $38 billion in spending.
  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.
  • The NOHFC’s Cultural Supports Program showcases Northern Ontario culture, geography and talent through event partnerships and support for the production of films and TV series.

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