Government of Canada Supports the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival in Gatineau, Quebec, will celebrate its 23rd anniversary with the help of a $704 578 investment from the Government of Canada through the Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP).

“This investment greatly benefits not only the Festival but also the city of Gatineau and the National Capital Region,” said the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. “With balloonists and hundreds of thousands of visitors coming from all over the world, it’s a great opportunity to promote Gatineau across Canada and abroad.”

“Our government is proud to show its commitment to strengthening the visitor economy,” said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Last year, over 277 000 people came to the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, which represents a huge economic benefit to the city of Gatineau and its restaurants, hotels and shops. The Festival is a great summer event.”

“Thanks to the help of our major partners, the Government of Canada included, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival welcomes more than 200 000 visitors each year. In 2009, with the support of 1800 volunteers, the Festival created $9.3 million in direct economic benefits. By continuously enriching its activities, offering quality programming and welcoming world-renowned artists, the Festival has affirmed its place among premier events across Canada,” said Alain Fredette, Chair of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. “For its 23rd edition, visitors from around the world will be able to attend more than 300 artistic performances, many of which showcase local talent.”

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is celebrating its 23rd anniversary from September 3 to 6. Hot air balloon flights, involving a wide range of balloons, many with special shapes, will take place in the morning and evening each day. In addition to hot air balloon flights, over 300 activities and shows are planned, including fireworks, amusement rides and the North American Strength Athletes Championship.

This funding allows the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival to increase its marketing and promotional efforts to draw more visitors from Ontario, the United States and Europe. It will also help with new and enhanced programming, including an international world-class show, and the development of new products. It builds on funding of $117 300 from Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and that celebrate local history and heritage.

MTEP is a temporary two-year program under Canada’s Economic Action Plan. It supports tourism events in all parts of the country with the goal of providing a much-needed boost to the Canadian tourism industry, which faced several challenges at the beginning of the global recession. Now in its final year, MTEP will provide up to $39 million in federal investments to festivals and events to stimulate the economy and help promote Canada as a global destination of choice.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan sets out to stimulate the Canadian economy through numerous programs that support local economies. The Government of Canada is committed to tourism, a $69.5-billion industry that included 650 000 jobs in 2009, according to recent Statistics Canada reports. It helps communities and regions thrive from coast to coast as they host national and international travellers to all parts of the country.

1 comments: