Windsor, ON – Local Tourism Innovators Awarded “Spark” Grants and Mentorship
The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program is a partnership between the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Libro Credit Union and WEtech Alliance that was launched back in 2018, to encourage individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations to create new tourism ideas for the region.
Its goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences, and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps, motivate travel and increase visits year-round in the region. Organizers are especially interested in ideas that incorporate sustainability, connect with technology, and showcase our diverse communities, history and people. In addition to a source of start-up funds and mentorship, the selected applicants will gain access to a network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders across the province.
The top five applicants to the 2021 Windsor Essex “Spark” Program were invited to present their new tourism idea at a virtual Pitch Session held on January 14th. A judge panel of partner representatives and a tourism innovator from outside the region selected the three winning applicants.
The 2021 Windsor Essex “Spark” Program winners are:
Billy Alexander, Caldwell First Nation
Providing hands-on, culinary experiences that focus on Indigenous food, culture and community.
Corey Robertson, The Bank Theatre
Point Pelee National Park will act as a new stage for local actors who will provide Spirit Walks or stories to visitors about our various cultures and combine them with related experiences.
Leslie Meloche, Walnut Grove B&B
Having a sommelier-guided experience that provides tastings of local wines (of the same varietal) paired with locally sourced tapas/cuisine
The “Spark” Program will match the selected applicants with a mentor and provide a $3,000 grant to help take their tourism initiatives to the next level of development.