$425,000 in provincial funding is flowing to nine area tourism, sport, recreation and culture organizations. 

Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP, announced the money is from the Community Building Fund to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ontario’s heritage, sport, recreation, tourism and culture industries were among the first and hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  These industries are now facing a combined $20 billion economic fallout,” Fedeli says. 

Laurentian Ski Hill is receiving $100,000 for a new contactless point-of-sale system, rent and water costs. 

John Strang, President of the ski hill, says the pandemic had a significant impact on their operations. 

“Pre-pandemic upwards of 35,000 skiers visited the hill each year,” he says.” Last year, less than five percent of that number had the opportunity to enjoy the very short season.  Without this Ontario Trillium Fund investment, the ski hill may not have been able to offer services to the North Bay community and visitors.” 

The Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) is also receiving $100,000. 

About 120 iPads are being provided to hockey associations across the north which will assist in limiting contact with electronic game sheets. 

“No more sharing of paper, no more sharing of pens, everything is done at the click of a button,” says Jason Marchand, NOHA Executive Director. 

He says money is also going towards about 400 pealess whistles for their referees. 

“We know that hockey has additional risk due to the close contact nature and indoor nature of the sport.  These whistles will help limit the droplets when those whistles are blown,” Marchand says. 

Other groups receiving funding include: 

  • $50,000 for the North Bay Granite Club. Funding will assist with purchasing and installing video and computer technology to teach and promote curling and help to hire a communications specialist and curling coach.
  • $49,900 for the Near North Media Lab. Funding will assist with rehiring support staff to help continue delivering vital media-arts programming for small to mid-sized communities across northern Ontario.
  • $43,400 for Creative Industries North Bay Inc. Funding will assist with developing new, community-engaging fundraising strategies by hiring a Sustainability Officer, and assisting with on-site rental costs
  • $30,100 for Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective Incorporated. Funding will assist with delivering online and physically distanced outdoor arts presentations for communities by assisting with operational and staffing costs, and those needed for maintaining an online presence.
  • $26,000 for the Mattawa Museum. Funding will assist with assisting with staffing and technology purchases to help develop revenue-generating, sustainable and accessible education programs through the digitizing of collections and exhibits.
  • $15,700 for the Voyageur Curling Club. Funding will assist with the cost of utilities, and purchasing personal protective equipment, sanitizing materials and developing new safety signage.
  • $10,800 for the Northern Ontario Curling Association. Funding will assist with supporting staffing and fixed administrative costs to help rebuild the Curling membership revenue.