Stay tuned for 2024 updates!
Do you have a new sustainable tourism idea for Bruce County?
If so, we want to hear from you!
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 "Spark" Program will match selected candidates with a tourism mentor and provide seed funds to help take their new tourism idea to the next level of development.
Our goal is to inspire Bruce County entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profit organizations and community groups to come forward with creative ideas that will generate sustainable tourism opportunities, offerings, experiences and partnerships in the region.
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.
Be Inspired! Dreamers Writing Farm expanded shoulder season offerings with winterized glamping in Bruce County.
Be Inspired! iSUP Saugeen launched a mobile surf shop, water safety awareness programs and on-water experiences in Bruce County.
APPLICATION DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 19, 2023
Register for an Info Session below.
Bruce County “Spark" Program Application Guide
Who Can Apply?
- Individuals, small businesses and organizations based in the 8 lower tier Bruce County municipalities and 2 First Nations are eligible to apply.
- Past Bruce County “Spark” Program winners are not eligible to apply (including special edition “Spark” winners). However, there are other tourism and business support programs available in the region including Business-to-Bruce, business grants and the T3 Accelerator program.
What Are We Looking For?
We are looking for new sustainable tourism ideas that address one or more of the following:
What Is A Tourism Idea?
Experiences, products and partnerships that motivate travel to and in 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)
Sustainable Tourism: Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. - World Tourism Organization
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Diversity is about our many differences - like skin colour, culture, sexual orientation, family status, ability, etc. Inclusion is a feeling, and comes from actively creating a space where we feel like we are welcome, safe, and that we belong. Equity is about recognizing that our diversity means we all have different needs, and creating experiences with this in mind - so everyone can participate and have access, and feel that sense of inclusion, safety, and belonging when they do. Our goal is for the tourism sector to better reflect diversity, equity and inclusion in terms of who designs experiences, and who enjoys them. - Annemarie Shrouder, DEI Advisor
APPLICATION DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 19, 2023
“Spark" Program Application
How to Apply?
There are 2 steps to applying to the "Spark" Program:
STEP 1. Complete the online application form
STEP 2. Record and upload a short video (1 minute maximum)
STEP 1. Online Application
The online application form will ask you the following 10 questions. Please submit your answers using the link below. We recommend you draft your responses first in a Word document, and then copy and paste your final answers into the online form.
1. Contact information.
2. Tell us about yourself, your small business or organization.
3a. New tourism idea project title.
3b. Describe your new tourism idea.
4. How is your idea innovative or unique?
5. What stage are you at with your idea?
6. Who are your target market(s) and/or partner(s)?
7. How does your idea advance sustainability efforts in the region?
8. How does your idea support diversity, equity and inclusion?
9. How would you utilize the “Spark” mentorship and seed funds if selected?
10. What are your desired outcomes and impacts?
STEP 2: Short Video
In addition to providing responses to the application form questions, please record and upload a file or link to a 1 minute maximum unedited, unproduced video introducing yourself, your small business, non-profit organization or community group.
Learn more about the Tourism Innovation Lab