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Second Intake of the “Spark” Program Now Open to Support Tourism Innovation in Peterborough & the Kawarthas

By Kelly Jessup

Peterborough, ON – A second intake of the “Spark” Mentorship & Grants Program has been launched to encourage local entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations to create new tourism ideas for Peterborough & the Kawarthas.

The program provides selected applicants with a $3,000 grant, industry mentorship and additional partner support to help them launch their new tourism idea. In 2022, the program’s inaugural year, successful ideas included camping equipment rentals, a busker festival, outdoor culinary experiences, a bunkie resort, Indigenous experiences, and an immersive maple syrup experience.

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits and community groups are encouraged to apply with their new tourism ideas for Peterborough & the Kawarthas from February 14th to March 20th, 2023. Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a virtual Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.

The Peterborough & the Kawarthas “Spark” Program is being led by the Tourism Innovation Lab in collaboration with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, a division of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, and the official Destination Marketing Organization for the City and County of Peterborough. 

The goal of the program is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas that will enhance current offerings, address gaps in the market and motivate longer stays and increase year-round visits to the region.

For more information and to register for an upcoming information session visit


Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism

“We are really excited to offer this opportunity again this year for tourism businesses in this region to develop and launch new products or experiences” said Joe Rees, Director of Tourism for Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development. “This successful collaboration in innovative tourism development supports sustainable growth and expansion of tourism businesses through experiential product development.”

Tourism Innovation Lab

“We are inspired by the creativity, passion and innovative spirit of our past Peterborough & the Kawarthas “Spark” Program winners, and are excited to foster and support new tourism ideas and entrepreneurs in the region,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab.



Kelly Jessup, Director of Marketing & Communications, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development


Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab, 416-712-8819,