Ontario Supporting Safe, Innovative Festivals and Events in Northumberland

The Ontario government is investing nearly $50 million to support 439 festivals and events across Ontario through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, as well as support to events through the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Program.

This one-time funding increase for festivals and events – more than double the annual funding provided to the sector in the past – will ensure the long-term success of the festival and event sector while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences, whether virtually or in- person, that allow people to safely reconnect with their communities.

Today, David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, announced that the following local events are receiving funding support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program:
 $70,000 for Westben Arts Festival Theatre’s Dare to Share: Arts in Wide Open Spaces
 $13,500 for the Municipality of Port Hope’s Candlelight Festival
 $41,580 for Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club’s Diversity Festival
 $18,500 for Cultivate’s Hibernate Festival

“For more than a year, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture – two major industries that bring people together and our communities to life,” said MPP David Piccini. “This important investment of over $143,500 through the Reconnect Festival and Event program to events in Northumberland gives us the opportunity to experience what is offered right here in our own backyard. These organizations are finding new ways to safely engage and reconnect residents with their community and support local economic and social recovery.”

The Reconnect Festival and Event Program was developed to help festival and event organizers adapt to new public health measures with virtual, drive-through and other safe offerings. The program directs support to events with innovative and safe experiences, while creating opportunities that encourage Ontarians to reconnect with the beauty and diversity of their communities in new ways.

“Westben is thrilled to receive the support from the Reconnect Festival and Events program. This funding partnership is supporting Westben’s Dare to Share – Arts in Wide Open Spaces events, which explores new ways of safely sharing our beautiful corner of rural Ontario with wider audiences. With music at its core, the events include a series of digital and live musical experiences created within a sense of place, inspired by local art, agriculture, food and nature. In addition to building audiences and employing artists, presenters and production personnel, the Event fosters positive economic impact for and awareness of the local and regional community while promoting Ontario.” Donna Bennett

“After more than a year and a half into this global pandemic, we are pleased to encourage our residents to reconnect with one another through shared experiences in our community this holiday season,” said Bob Sanderson, Mayor, Municipality of Port Hope. “We thank the provincial government for their contribution of $13,500 through the Reconnect Festivals and Events program. This funding will support our modified Candlelight Festival, providing festive-themed activations throughout the community, while aligning with the government’s mandate to maintain COVID-19 protocols. I look forward to enjoying the sights and sounds of the season and to reconnecting with our residents in our local shops, restaurants, and parks throughout Port Hope.”
“Aligned with our mandate, this funding will enable us to partner with Northumberland County in the production of the Northumberland Diversity Festival 2021 which is set to help local entertainers while showcasing and educating about our diversity in the County,” said Mario Pareja, President, Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club.
“It’s been a rough few years for Cultivate and the overall arts community,” said Jeff Bray, Co-Founder and Director, Cultivate Festival. “For two whole years, we didn’t present a single performance. We are two years behind schedule. Funding from Reconnect Ontario has opened doors for us. It has given us an opportunity to create a new product, forge local partnerships and to get back to our mission of engaging the community in the celebration and discovery of arts and culture. The Hibernate Festival series will take place over four months at The Capitol Theatre, bringing all of our favourite elements of our award winning festival inside for the winter. We’ve been dreaming about this for years, and its possible today because of funding from Reconnect Ontario.”

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