On November 19th in Timmins, the final pitch session for Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab’s Spark Program grant finalists was held at the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit. The five program finalists from Northeastern Ontario had a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style opportunity to pitch their new tourism idea in front of the judging panel and Summit attendees

Three winners were selected to receive a three month mentorship with a tourism innovator, experienced operator, industry leader and/or sector expert, a $3,000 Spark grant to support tourism idea development activities, access to a support network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, and ongoing guidance on other resources and support services provided by partners.

The top five finalists were Alexandre Gagnon, Emma Jones, Doug Adams, Sylvie Lamothe and Bryce Gartner. The winners were Jones (Off the Beaten Track), Gagnon (Timmins Fitness Alternatives), and Lamothe (Rebel Soul Tribe).

Winners were chosen because their tourism experience/product ideas and/or collaborative partnerships best met the following criteria:

  • Enhances current tourism offerings
  • Creates new, high-quality tourism experiences
  • Addresses gaps in tourism products and services
  • Motivates travel, longer stays and repeat visits
  • Increases year-round visitation and tourism spending 

The judging panel was made up of Arthur Trudeau (Mukwa Adventures), David MacLachlan (Destination Northern Ontario), Karen Peacock (Tourism Excellence North) and Paul Pepe (Tourism Thunder Bay).

Congratulations to the winners! We are excited to see your tourism ideas come to life and add to the ever-growing inventory of tourism experiences in Northeastern Ontario!  Thank you to all the applicants for your hard work and participation.

READ MORE about the Spark program