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By Kelly Jessup

Peterborough, ON – A new program aimed at sparking and supporting innovative tourism ideas in Peterborough & the Kawarthas was officially announced today. The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program will match selected applicants with a mentor and provide a $3,000 seed grant to help take their new tourism idea to the next level.

The “Spark” Program was first launched in 2018 by the Tourism Innovation Lab and has now been delivered in over 20 regions across Ontario and British Columbia. Its goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits. Program organizers are especially interested in experiential and sustainable tourism ideas that connect with culinary, agritourism, and/or the shoulder season.

Individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and community groups are encouraged to apply with their new tourism ideas for Peterborough & the Kawarthas from May 3rd to May 31st, 2022. Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a virtual Pitch Session, where six winners (3 from the City of Peterborough and 3 from the County of Peterborough) will be selected to receive mentorships and grants.

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.

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Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism

“We are pleased to offer this opportunity to tourism businesses in this region,” said Joe Rees, Director of Tourism for Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development. “This collaboration with a nationally recognized leader in innovative tourism development furthers our goal of supporting the sustainable growth and expansion of tourism businesses through experiential product development.”

Tourism Innovation Lab
“We are very excited to be launching the “Spark” Program in Peterborough & the Kawarthas” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab. “Innovative tourism ideas brought forward by entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations will elevate Peterborough & the Kawarthas tourism offerings and experiences and inspire travel to the region.”



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

Kelly Jessup, Director of Marketing & Communications, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development 705-749-7747,