Science North, an agency of the Ontario government, aimed at attracting tourists and being an educational resource for children and adults across the province, launched The Great Northern Ontario Roadshow to support the tourism industry in the North.
This roadshow will have tourists discovering culture, art, science, heritage, culinary recreational tourism and everything northern Ontario has to offer, according to a press release.
Fort Frances was the first stop of the roadshow and took place on Aug. 27 and 28 at the Fort Frances Curling Club. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and MPP Greg Rickford were at the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre to kickstart the project.
“Northern Ontario is home to some of the most spectacular tourism destinations, anywhere in the world,” Ford said. “This roadshow is a tremendous opportunity to support local economies, create good jobs and showcase some of the best activities Ontario has to offer.”
Guy Labine, Science North CEO, said the Northern Ontario tourism industry is a crucial economic driver in the region and support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will allow Science North to bring the Roadshow to more than 50 communities.
“Events will encourage a resurgence in “home grown” tourism that will lead to economic recovery across the region,” Labine said. “The Great Northern Ontario Roadshow will create and support 158 jobs in Northern Ontario and generate an estimated $4.3 million in direct and value-added benefits to the economy.”
The Roadshow made a stop in Fort Frances as a result of a partnership between Science North and the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce executive director, Heather Johnson, said they are grateful to the Ontario government for the grants, relief funding and benefits that have gotten their businesses and community through these last 18 months.
The Roadshow will feature a staycation expo, an attractions showcase and a local market.
“With so much to do and discover, adventure lies around every turn,” according to the press release. “The Roadshow will highlight some of the tremendous private and public tourist attractions and natural wonders located throughout the North.”
It is expected that the Roadshow will attract 70,000 visitors, including francophone and Indigenous audiences, as it tours across the North stopping in 50 communities over the next 12 months.