What's New IN THE LAb



Our New Western Canada Home Base in Squamish, BC!


We're excited to announce that the Tourism Innovation Lab's western Canada home base is now at The Common in Squamish, BC. Are you in the neighbourhood? Drop by and say hello - 38016 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC.


Peterborough & the Kawarthas "Spark" Winners


On July 13th & 14th we held "Spark" pitch sessions for both City and County of Peterborough, as part of our Peterborough & the Kawarthas "Spark" Program. We are excited to announce our incredible six winners!

Congratulations to our City of Peterborough "Spark" winners:

  • Kassy Scott (Rare Escape)
  • Polina Ratnichkina (Camp Rentique)
  • Luke Farley, Big Top Productions (Buskers Fest)

Congratulations to our County of Peterborough "Spark" winners:

  • Sarah Heydon, The Pearly Acre (Bunkie Resort)
  • Jeremy Poulin, Red Mill Maple Syrup
  • Robyn Ivory Pierson, Indigenously Infused

All will receive a $3,000 seed grant, mentorship, plus additional partner
​support to help them get started with their new tourism initiatives.

Thanks to all of our finalists for making their pitch! And thanks to our review juries, pitch session judge panels and partners Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism for making this program possible!


Simcoe County "Spark" Winners


Congratulations to our Simcoe County "Spark" Program winners who were selected at a virtual pitch session on June 15th:

  • Alexandra McLaughlin, Art by Alex (Come Paint With Me Experiences)
  • Svetlana Lazareva, Lavender Fox (Year-Round Nature Retreats)
  • Tyneisha Ternent (Simcoe County Poetry Concerts)

Each will receive a $3,000 seed grant, mentorship plus additional partner support to help take their new tourism initiatives to the next level. 

Thanks to all of our finalists for making their pitch! We look forward to working with them to support the development of exciting new tourism experiences and offerings in Simcoe County. Stay tuned for updates on their progress!

Thanks to our review jury, pitch session judge panel and program partners Tourism Simcoe County and Bruce Grey Simcoe (RTO7).

Tourism + Tech: C3Tech Survey Results


In February 2022, our parent organization Hackforge launched C3Tech in collaboration with The City of Windsor Bicycle Committee, the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS), and local technology consulting firm Parallel 42 Systems. 

The Tourism Innovation Lab is excited to support and collaborate on this initiative that will create digital tools to enhance cycle tourism development, planning and navigation in our home region of Windsor Essex. 

The project team recently announced the results from a cycling survey in Windsor and Essex County. The survey asked respondents asking about why people cycle and what (if any) technology they use while doing so.

See the C3Tech survey results >

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 > 

Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards 2022


Nominations for the 2022 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards are now open!

Presented in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), Attractions Ontario, CTA: Culinary Tourism Alliance, Indigenous Tourism Ontario and OTEC the Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards have been designed to recognize the achievements of tourism businesses regardless of operating status.
Be sure to nominate outstanding tourism industry partners within each of the following three areas: 
- Innovation 
- Collaboration 
- Sustainability 

Submit your nomination(s) and join TIAO and partners in recognizing our tourism industry partners exhibiting excellence, because Resiliency is in our Tourism Industry's DNA.

Apply here >

More "Spark" Regions coming in 2022

The "Spark" Mentorships & Grants Program​ will be expanding to new regions in British Columbia and Ontario 2022. 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 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?