Corp Comm Connects

Newmarket festivals get pandemic 'reconnect' funding boost from province

In total, 18 festivals in York Region will get a share of the $43 million going to more than 400 community events across Ontario
Aug. 6, 2021
Elizabeth Keith

Three Newmarket festivals are benefiting from the Ontario government's $43-million investment in more than 400 community events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Town of Newmarket's 2021 Summer Fun Days Festival will receive $60,467 and the 2021 Winter Fun Days Festival will receive $44,693, while the York Region Arts Council's York Region Experience Trail will receive $75,000.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod announced the one-time funding boost, dubbed the Reconnect program, for 439 festivals and events on Aug. 4 in Toronto.

“For more than a year, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture -- two major industries that bring people together and our communities to life,” she said. “Increasing our annual support for festival and events will give the sector a much needed boost as we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19. Our government is supporting organizations that are finding new ways to safely engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs.”

Other events in York Region will also receive funding, including Pizza in the Park in Vaughan, which will get $150,000.

"Over the years, Celebrate Ontario has helped us achieve a Guinness World Record for the World's Longest Calzone, host the World Pizza Eating Championship with the legendary professional eater Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut and bring in some amazing musicians,” Remo Palladini, chairman of the Pizza in the Park event, said in a news release. “This year, the support from the Reconnect Program will be the most important as we recover with a focus on rediscovering Ontario. This money will be spent in Ontario, provide jobs to Ontarians, and support Ontario businesses while our events showcase the best that Ontario has to offer."

The following festivals across York Region will also receive a portion of the provincial funding:

2021 Vaughan Latin Festival
90s Nostalgia Presents: Canada Rocks
Aurora's Welcome Back event series
Aurora's Welcome Winter event series
Halloween Nights of Lights in Vaughan
Markham Contemporary Music Festival
Richmond Hill Summer Event Series
Richmond Hill Winter Event Series
Taste of Asia Festival in Markham
The 6th Age Of Literati Cultural Festival: "Literati Energy Arts" in Markham
Together Apart Summer Cirque in Markham
Toronto Garlic Festival in Vaughan
Vaughan Celebrates Program

VFF 2021 Drive-In in Vaughan