Corp Comm Connects

York Region, arts council working to boost area tourism
June 26, 2015
Chris Traber  

The tourists are coming.

In preparation for an anticipated visitor boom, York Region, in partnership with the York Region Arts Council, will ramp up tourism activities to meet increased opportunities and demands.

The council will lead the development of the new promotions while Central Counties Tourism, the regional tourism organization, will provide additional funds and promotional resources, York Region chairperson and CEO Wayne Emmerson said Thursday.

“Tourism, arts and culture are important elements for supporting vibrant, connected and economically thriving communities,” Emmerson said. “The York Region Arts Council is ideally positioned to take a lead in the important opportunities ahead involving area municipalities, the arts and culture community, tourism operators and visitors.”

The arts council will provide visitors with the information they need to get around and find fun things to do here, primarily through, the arts, culture and tourism website they manage. has effectively established itself as the primary source for events in York Region, Vaughan Regional Councillor Michael Di Biase said.

“Last year, more than 1,000 listings appeared on the events calendar, featuring activities, family-oriented festivals and fairs and tourism operators across the Region,” said Di Biase who also serves as the region’s planning and economic development chairperson.

The council’s successful delivery of arts, culture and tourism services contributed to its selection for a $322,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to launch the York Region Festival Alliance. The new initiative will strengthen and promote festivals in York Region and create an annual York Region-wide multicultural celebration integrated with existing festivals.

York Region has two of several locations spread out across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that will host individual events for the 2015 Toronto Pan American/Parapan American Games. The Atos Markham Pan Am / Parapan Am Centre in the City of Markham will host badminton, table tennis and water polo. Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham will host the first-ever Pan Am Games golf tournament.

Games organizers expect 10,000 athletes, coaches and delegates from 41 countries and 250,000 tourists to attend.

For more information, visit