Canadian Experiences Fund
Announced in Budget 2019, the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) is a national program that support communities across Canada as they create, improve or enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences.
The application period for the Canadian Experiences Fund is now closed.
Western Economic Diversification Canada received a high number of applications for this initiative and demand exceeds the amount of funding available.
Thank you for your interest.
The CEF is delivered by Canada's regional development agencies in their respective regions. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) received $11 million over two years to deliver the CEF in western Canada. The CEF is part of the Government of Canada's renewed efforts to support the tourism sector, which includes Creating Middle Class Jobs: a Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The fund invests in the types of products and experiences that cater to Canada's strengths, while also growing tourism beyond major cities and the summer season.
Contact us (WD-DEO) for additional information regarding the Canadian Experiences Fund.
Categories and Criteria
Investments made through the CEF focus on five categories:
- Expand winter and shoulder-season by funding projects like onsite experiences development, tours, excursions, special events and tourism facilities
- Grow tourism in rural and remote communities by investing in projects such as destination development planning, adventure, eco- and agri-tourism, local product development, or rural and remote tourism facilities
- Increase Indigenous tourism by investing in such projects as market readiness, onsite experiences development, developing a line of consumer products, tours, festivals and special events
- Promote LGBTQ2+ communities, by supporting train the trainer programs, projects such as attractions, special events and festivals as well as market readiness
- Boost culinary and farm-to-table experiences, by funding projects in areas including culinary tourism trails, farmers markets, and onsite experiences development in various locations
Available funding is limited and priority will be given to project proposals received on or before June 10th that demonstrate:
- Attraction of international tourists.
- Economic impact on more than one community.
- Leveraged funding from other sources (e.g. government, other non-profits and/or the private sector).
- Jobs created.
Who can apply for CEF?
The CEF is open to a wide variety of organizations, including non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, industry associations, and local, provincial or Indigenous governments.
- Non-profit organizations can normally request up to $500,000. Funding requests beyond this amount will only be considered on an exceptional basis. CEF funding can be up to 100 per cent of eligible costs.
- Incorporated for-profit organizations (less than 500 FTEs) can request funding of less than $100,000 with confirmed funding from all other sources (CEF funding can be up to 50% of the proposed project costs, with the remaining funding coming from other non-government sources).
What projects are funded through CEF?
Eligible projects will support the growth and diversification of the tourism sector. These activities may include:
- Product and service planning, development and implementation: designing new or improved tourism services and products (e.g. attractions, festivals, tours);
- Market readiness training: working with tourism associations to train business to market their products to various audiences, adopt foreign payment systems, manage cultural differences, etc.;
- Creating or improving tourism facilities: physical assets used by tourists (e.g. trails, campgrounds, shelters).
Note: All project activities must be completed by March 31, 2021
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