What's New IN THE LAb
​MAY 2021


Skode Program Launched In Partnership With Indigenous Tourism Ontario


The Skode Program application deadline is May 28th.

For more information go to

​Chatham-Kent (Round 2) "Spark" Winners Announced


Congratulations to our Chatham-Kent (Round 2) "Spark" Program winners:

- Bria Atkins, The Crappie Store (Riverside Cabins on the Sydenham)
- Kelsey Nydam, Downtown Wallaceburg BIA (Wallaceburg Kayak Experience)
- Paul & Sara Spence, The Culinary Farm (On Farm Wood Fired Kitchen and Experiences)

Each will receive $3000, mentorship, and additional partner support to help them take their tourism initiatives to the next level. Stay tuned for updates on their progress.

Thanks to all of our Chatham-Kent (Round 2) "Spark" finalists who pitched new tourism ideas at the virtual session. We are inspired by your passion and creativity!

Thanks to our program partners Visit Chatham-Kent, Chatham-Kent Economic Development Services, Ontario's Southwest, Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent, SOAR Innovation, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, WEtech Alliance, and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for collaborating with us to spark tourism innovation in the region.

Special Student Edition Sparks New Tourism Ideas at St. Lawrence College


The Lab recently partnered with RTO9 and St. Lawrence College on a special Student Edition of the "Spark" Program to inspire tourism entrepreneurship and innovation.

​Ten groups of students developed new tourism ideas for the Kingston region, with three groups being selected as finalists to pitch their ideas to a judge panel of partner representatives.

Congratulations to the winning student group and their idea: Ontario Comes Together: A 4-Day Celebration of Food.

Northern Ontario (Special Edition) "Spark" Winners Announced


Congratulations to our Northern Ontario (Round 2) "Spark" Program winners:

- Matthew Larivee, Foxfire Heritage Farm (Northeastern Ontario)
- Erica Hogan, Hogan's Homestead (Algoma/Central)
- Bridget Taylor, Tall Pines Camp, Ontario, Wabaskang Lake (Northwest Ontario)

Each will receive $3000, mentorship, and an in-kind bundle of support services from Tourism Excellence North valued at up to $9,500. 

And congratulations to our runners up who will each receive mentorship and an in-kind bundle of support services from Tourism Excellence North valued at up to $9,500:

- Allison Easton, Graceful Roots (Northeastern Ontario)
- Ellen Barber, Red House Ice Cream (Algoma/Central)  
- Aric Fishman, Outdoor Skills And Thrills (Northwest Ontario)

We are excited to have them all join our "Spark" family!

Thanks to our partners Destination Northern Ontario and Tourism Excellence North for their leadership and support of tourism innovation across the North.

Follow our social media channels​ for updates on all of our "Spark" winners.

More "Spark" Regions Coming In 2021

The "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program​ will be expanding to new regions in 2021. Stay tuned for announcements. 

Building Mentorship In Ontario'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 Ontario by providing advice and guidance to help them take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development. Contact us at info@tourisminnovation.ca​ for more information on the program and how you can be a mentor.

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What's Your New Tourism Idea?