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Tourism Innovation Lab

Whether you are an individual, a start-up or an established small business or non-profit organization, there can be many challenges and barriers to bringing a new tourism idea, experience or partnership to fruition.

​We want to help. The "Spark" Program will match selected candidates with a tourism mentor and provide a source of financial support to help take your great new tourism idea to the next level of development or implementation.

Bruce County (Round 4) Program Focus Area:

Our goal is to inspire Bruce County residents (full or part-time), entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations to come forward with creative ideas that will generate sustainable tourism opportunities, experiences and partnerships.

We are also encouraging existing tourism operators to think about offering more experiential, unique or enhanced activities and eco-friendly options so that we can expand beyond high season, increase year-round visitors and spending, and spread our existing market to destinations across Bruce County.


What is “Sustainable Tourism?”:

  • Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.” – World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).


What are we looking for? New sustainable tourism ideas that address one or more of the following:

  • Enhances our current tourism offerings
  • Creates high-quality, low impact tourism experiences
  • Addresses gaps in tourism products and services
  • Motivates longer stays and repeat visits
  • Increases shoulder season visits and tourism spending

*New tourism ideas must be based in and benefit Bruce County.


The “Spark” Program Includes:

  • Call out for applications from individuals, small businesses, non-profits and community groups
  • Application reviews by a jury including local and provincial tourism leaders and innovators
  • Finalists’ Pitch Session (our friendly take on a tourism Dragon’s Den):
    • Event to be scheduled in Fall 2023.
  • Selection of 3 winning applicants from Bruce County


Who can apply?

  • Individuals 18+ who live, work and / or own property in Bruce County
  • Small businesses (up to 10 full time year-round employees) bases in Bruce County (new or existing)
  • Small non-profit organizations and community groups (up to 10 gull time year-round employees) based in Bruce County
  • Individuals, small businesses and organizations based in the 8 lower tier Bruce County municipalities and 2 First Nations are eligible to apply.

*Past Bruce County “Spark” Program winners are not eligible to apply (including special edition “Spark” winners). However, there are other tourism and business support programs available in the region including Business-to-Brucegrants and the T3 Accelerator program.\


Program Info Sessions:

Check back here in Fall 2023 for updated info session schedule.


Selected applicants will receive:

  • 3-month mentorship with a tourism innovator, experienced operator, industry leader and/or sector expert
  • $3,000 "Spark" grant to support tourism idea development activities
  • Access to a support network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders
  • Ongoing guidance on other resources and support services provided by partners


Application Submission:

Applications for this year have not opened. Details coming in Fall 2023.

Looking to speak to a team member about the program?  Request a conversation.

Visit Tourism Innovation Lab for more details.