2SLGBTQ+ “Spark" Program (Southern Ontario)
Do you identify as 2SLGBTQ+, live in Southern Ontario, and have a new tourism idea?
If so, we want to hear from you!
Canada's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) and the Tourism Innovation Lab have partnered to launch a 2SLGBTQ+ "Spark" Program in Southern Ontario.
Whether you are an individual, a start-up or an established small business or non-profit organization, there can be many challenges and barriers to bringing a new tourism idea, experience or partnership to fruition.
We want to help. The 2SLGBTQ+ "Spark" Program will match selected candidates with a tourism mentor and provide support services to help take your new tourism idea to the next level of development or implementation.
Our goal is to inspire self-identified 2SLGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, 2SLGBTQ+ majority owned & operated small businesses, and 2SLGBTQ+ focused non-profit organizations and community groups to come forward with creative ideas that will generate new tourism offerings and experiences, and help make the tourism sector more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
The program includes:
Selected applicants will receive:
All program applicants will be invited to join our “Spark" community of tourism innovators, idea makers, partners and supporters for special networking events, one-on-one's, and development workshops.
APPLICATION DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 17, 2022
Register for an upcoming Info Session below.
Program Info Sessions
Missed our 2SLGBTQ+ "Spark" Program Info Sessions? Watch the recording below to learn more about the program and how to apply.
2SLGBTQ+ “Spark" Program Application Guide
Who Can Apply?
*Majority means small business owners who self-identify as 2SLGBTQ+ own and operate 51% or more of the business.
**Non-profit organizations and community groups that primarily serve 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
What Are We Looking For?
We are looking for new 2SLGBTQ+ led tourism ideas based in Southern Ontario that address one or more of the following:
*Some examples of new 2SLGBTQ+ led tourism ideas include (but are not limited to): eco-tours, culinary experiences, agritourism destinations, cultural exhibits, art installations, and events & festivals.
What Does “2SLGBTQ+" Stand For?
Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, and other queer sexual orientations and gender identities.
What Is A “Tourism” Idea?
Experiences, products and partnerships that motivate travel to your region by people living more than 40km away, across the border or internationally, and provide engagement, participation, purchasing and/or travel related opportunities while they are visiting.
What Do We Mean By “New”?
Tourism experiences, products, businesses and partnerships that are in the ideation stage, have just been created, are under development, or have been promoted/offered publicly for 6 months or less.
Other “Tourism” Definitions and Examples
Experiences: Opportunities for visitors to engage, participate, interact, learn and explore in a region to get a local understanding and broader awareness of a destination, often combining different elements (eg. farmers market tour followed by a culinary class led by a local chef)
Products: Buyable goods and services related to tourism in the region (eg. accommodations, attractions, tours, ticketed events, travel packages and other tourism bundles)
Collaborative Partnerships: Two or more businesses/organizations working together to promote and/or deliver a new tourism related experience or product (eg. Metro Zoo + Cycling Group = “Jungle Ride” event)
“Spark" Program Application
How to Apply?
There are 3 steps to applying to the 2SLGBTQ+ "Spark" Program:
STEP 1. Written application (1000 word maximum) including 2SLGBTQ+ self-identification
STEP 2. Short video (1 minute maximum)
STEP 3. Email both to submit your application
STEP 1. Written Application
The application will ask you the following 10 questions. Please submit your answers using the application form below up to a maximum of 1000 words.
1. 2SLGBTQ+ self-identification
2. Contact information (name, phone number, email, business/organization name, website)
3. Tell us about yourself, your small business or organization.
4. What’s your new tourism idea for Southern Ontario?
5. How is your idea innovative or unique?
6. What stage are you at with your idea?
7. Who are your target market(s) and/or partner(s)?
8. How would you utilize the “Spark” mentorship, support and resources if selected?
9. What are your desired outcomes and impacts?
10. How does your tourism idea support diversity, equity and inclusion?
STEP 2: Short Video
In addition to the application document, please include a file or link to a 1 minute maximum unedited, unproduced video introducing yourself, your small business, non-profit organization or community group. For example, use your smart phone to take the video, and then upload it to a file sharing service (eg. Dropbox, Google, WeTransfer) or a publicly accessible video sharing website such as YouTube (if you don’t want other people to find it, mark it as unlisted) and include the file or link in your email with your application document.
STEP 3. Submit Your Application
Please email your application form and video to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 17, 2022 at 11:59pm and include "2SLGBTQ+" in the subject line.
IMPORTANT: Both the 1000 word maximum document (including 2SLGBTQ+ self-identification) and 1 minute maximum video are required for a complete application submission. Incomplete applications or applications that are above the maximum word/time limits will not be reviewed.
Emails will be sent to confirm receipt of all applications within 24 hours. If you do not receive a confirmation email, send another email or call 1-844-455-0325 (ext. 1) to make sure we received your application. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted or reviewed.
Your Application and Personal Information
By submitting an application you agree that all of the information contained in your application is complete and accurate. You also consent that the Tourism Innovation Lab and its partners may collect the personal information contained herein within the application review process and for future program related communications. Your application will be kept confidential during the review period. All review jury and judge panel decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
Western Canada Home Base
Tourism Innovation Lab
c/o The Common
38016 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A1
1-844-455-0325 x 2 (toll-free)
We respectfully acknowledge that our home base in Squamish sits on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples: Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations. We will honour that by collaborating with Indigenous-led organizations and businesses to support the advancement of Indigenous tourism in the region and across Canada.
Central Canada Home Base
Tourism Innovation Lab
c/o University of Windsor - EPICentre
2455 Wyandotte St W, Windsor, ON N9B 3B3
1-844-455-0325 x 1 (toll-free)
We respectfully acknowledge that our home base in Windsor sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, which is comprised of the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi Peoples. We will honour that by collaborating with Indigenous-led organizations and businesses to support the advancement of Indigenous tourism in the region and across Canada.