What's New IN THE LAb
MARCH 2023



Campbell River "Spark" Program
​Application Deadline March 24


Do you have a new tourism idea for the City of Campbell River and the Strathcona Regional District? The deadline for the Campbell River "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program is fast approaching - March 24, 2023.

The application is short and simple, and you could be selected to receive a $3,000 seed grant and mentorship to help bring your new tourism idea to life!

Don't forget to register for our final Info Session / Webinar on Thursday, March 16 @ 4pm PST to learn more.


info session mar. 16 @ 4:00pm PST


2023 Indigenous Tourism Skode Program Winners and Grand Prize Pitch Winner!


Shtataha, Gwetomnidict! Congratulations to our 2023 Skode Program winners who successfully pitched their new Indigenous tourism ideas at virtual sessions held earlier this month:

  • Emma McLaren, The Bridle Path Equestrian Centre (Ojibway Spirit Horses Programs)
  • Mandaago Osawamick, ZAAMIKenhs PRODUCTIONS (Indigenous Youth Owned & Operated Short Video Production Service)
  • Mario Gionet, Walk Among The Trees (Hiking Tours Sharing Indigenous Knowledge & Culture)
  • Natasha Darling, Two Sisters SUP (Indigenous-led Haudenosaunee Culture & History Tours)
  • Sarah Sproule, Wayeshkad (Trapline Tours & Accommodations)
  • Tyler French, CELEBRATION: Event Facility & Museum (Venue Showcasing Indigenous Culture & Artifacts)

Each will receive $5,000, mentorship, plus additional ITO support to advance their Indigenous tourism initiatives and businesses to the next level.

Plus, a big congratulations to Sarah Sproule for the winning the grand prize of $20,000! The in-person grand prize pitch session was held at the Little Native Hockey League Tournament in Mississauga on March 15th. 

Miigwech, Nia:wen, Maarsi, Thank You to our review juries, pitch session judge panels and partners FedNor Ontario, FedDev Ontario and TD Bank Group, and especially Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO), for making the Skode Program possible.


Peterborough & the Kawarthas "Spark" Program Application Deadline March 20


IMPACT Conference Ontario - Kingston
​May 7-9 2023


The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) will be hosting the first-ever IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism – ONTARIO: A Regional Event, taking place at Queen’s University Biosciences Complex in Kingston, Ontario, from May 7th to 9th, 2023.

In alliance with IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism - SUMMIT Victoria, TIAO is excited to share with you the inaugural IMPACT Regional Event program, showcasing thought-leaders of the tourism industry across Ontario.

This 2 day event will bring together thought-leaders, destinations, and operators from across Ontario who are committed to making the tourism industry more sustainable. The programming highlights will include international best practices, invaluable resources, new research in sustainable tourism, and more!

For more information and to register visit www.tiaontario.ca/IMPACTregional

Hackforge and the Tourism Innovation Lab are now Rainbow Registered!


We are very proud to announce that Hackforge, the parent organization of the Tourism Innovation Lab, is now Rainbow Registered! 

Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for LGBT+ friendly businesses and organizations recently launched by Canada's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) and Tourism HR Canada. When you see a Rainbow Registered symbol, you know the business or organization meets a stringent set of standards to ensure LGBT+ customers feel safe, welcomed, and accepted.

Learn more about the Rainbow Registered program. 

More "Spark" Regions coming in 2023

The "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program​ will be expanding to new regions in British Columbia and Ontario 2023. Stay tuned for announcements. 

Building Mentorship in Canada's Tourism Sector

Are you a recognized tourism innovator, successful entrepreneur, experienced operator and/or sector expert?

​Join our "Spark" Mentor Network and support up-and-coming and early stage tourism innovators in Canada by providing advice and guidance to help them take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development. Contact us at [email protected]​ for more information on the program and how you can be a mentor.

Visit Our Site

What's Your New Tourism Idea?