July 5, 2022
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a non-repayable investment of more than $11.3 million to support the recovery and future growth of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada, and seven tourism and community infrastructure projects in the region.
An investment of $10 million for the Stratford Festival, provided through the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) is enabling the Festival to recover from the impacts of the past two years and return to its pre-pandemic scale, positioning it for strong and resilient growth.
Speaking in a press release Carol Stephenson, Past Chair of the Stratford Festival Board of Directors, said “This will have a significant economic impact and support job creation. Directly and indirectly, it will help artists, arts workers, business owners and others in the business, arts, and tourism sectors who suffered from the cancellation of our 2020 season.”
This support will result in positive economic impacts for the Stratford-area tourism and hospitality sectors.
Over $1.3 million was also announced, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) and the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), for seven projects that will enhance community infrastructure or help tourism entities and communities safely welcome back visitors in the Stratford area.
Recipients include The Little Prince Cinema, which received nearly $100,000 to expand operations to establish a new microcinema facility, which will include two screening rooms.
The cinema holds the world record as the smallest cinema and operates as a social enterprise with a community-before-profits model.
The “must-see” spot in Stratford has been making news, including a shout-out on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“This financial support through the Tourism Relief Fund means we can look forward to not just surviving, but expanding our little project! A prospect we had heretofore only dreamed of. There are no words to express our gratitude, ” said Leigh Cooney, Founder, Little Prince Cinema.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested almost $19 million in 20 projects in Stratford that are estimated to create and maintain over 2,500 jobs.