Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Program offers mentorships and grants to “Spark” new tourism ideas for Haldimand County - Haldimand County

Program offers mentorships and grants to “Spark” new tourism ideas for Haldimand County

A second round of the “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program has been launched to encourage Haldimand County entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations to create new tourism ideas for the region.

The program provides selected applicants with mentorship, $3,000 in seed funds and additional partner support to help get them started. Previous Haldimand County recipients were selected to develop unique getaway packages, organic flower farm experiences and workshops, and a new festival.

Organizers are looking for new tourism ideas that will enhance Haldimand County’s current tourism offerings, create high-quality tourism experiences, address gaps in tourism products and services, motivate longer stays and repeat visits, and increase year-round visits and tourism spending. They are especially interested in ideas that connect with agritourism, culinary, cycling, Grand River and waterfront activation, and the winter season.

Applications will be accepted from October 5th to November 9th, 2023. Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.

The Haldimand County “Spark” Program is a partnership between Haldimand County, Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization, Libro Credit Union, Grand Erie Business Centre and the Tourism Innovation Lab.

Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization
“Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization is excited to be partnering on the Haldimand County ‘Spark’ program once again. We’ve been inspired by the innovative ideas and results from the “Spark” program across the region to date, and we are eager to see what new ideas emerge through this year’s program in Haldimand County,” said Joanne Wolnik, Executive Director of Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization.

Haldimand County
“We believe that every corner of Haldimand County holds untapped potential waiting to be discovered. With the return of the “Spark” program, we are ready to uncover and transform these ideas into unforgettable experiences,” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism at Haldimand County. “We encourage anyone with an idea to apply to reimagine tourism, spark creativity, and craft an even brighter future for our community and its visitors.”

Libro Credit Union
“At Libro Credit Union, we believe that collaboration empowers individuals and enriches communities. We recognize that small businesses play a vital role in fostering such collaboration and driving our local economies. Discovering partnerships like the one with the Haldimand County Spark program is truly gratifying, as it highlights the importance of supporting small businesses and startups in our community. Embracing innovative ideas like this is truly what excites us at Libro!” said Stacie Blakey, Community Manager at the Libro Credit Union – Caledonia Branch.

Grand Erie Business Centre
“The ‘Spark’ program has a history of success in helping to develop and foster new tourism businesses and entrepreneurs. We are happy to support this program and partner with everyone involved to encourage new tourism experiences to be developed and offered in our communities.” said Tauri Caputo, General Manager of the Grand Erie Business Centre.

Tourism Innovation Lab
“We are very excited to be launching a second round of the “Spark” program in Haldimand County,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead of the Tourism Innovation Lab. “We have been inspired by the creativity, passion and innovative spirit of our previous Haldimand County program winners and look forward to the new ideas that will come forward.”

For more information on the Haldimand County “Spark” program and to register for an upcoming Info Session visit