Shot in the arm from FedNor

FedNor has provided more than $8.7 million to tourism operators, organizations and communities across Northern Ontario to help with rebounding from the pandemic.

According to the release, the funding agency says the pandemic has an undeniable impact on the tourism sector, so they are providing funding from the Tourism Relief Fund for several operators and organizations throughout the North.

Several communities including Wiikwemkoong, Billings, and Gore Bay, as well as Blind River and the North Channel Cruise Lines are receiving fundings for a variety of projects.

The local projects are detailed below …

 Wikwemikong Development Commission

The Wikwemikong Development Commission will receive a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $492,184 to support phase two of the community’s Point Grondine Park development project. Specifically, the funding will be used to construct an off-grid comfort station that features solar power and various energy and water-saving technologies. The facility will be fully accessible, improve health and safety amenities at the adventure park, attract more visitors to the area, and create further opportunities to share Anishnawbek culture. This project will help maintain two seasonal positions and create 10 full time jobs during the construction phase of the initiative.

Township of Billings


A non-repayable FedNor investment of $264,376 through TRF will allow the Township of Billings to advance phase two of its Kagawong Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. Specifically, this targeted investment will help modernize the Austin Hunt Marina to enhance the visitor experience and increase spending at local businesses. Upgrades to the marina will including expanded dockage, shoreline stabilization with sheet piling, a walking path and improved parking. Once complete this tourism initiative is expected attract more boaters to the community and create 6 local jobs.

Town of Gore Bay


The Town of Gore Bay, on the north shore of Manitoulin Island, is receiving $249,000 through the TRF to upgrade its waterfront and boardwalk to attract more tourists, and in turn, increase spending at local businesses. Specifically, the funding will be used to construct two bridges, pave the front parking lot of the Harbour Centre (an arts incubator and museum hub), landscape the shoreline and install educational signage, flooring and a chairlift to enhance accessibility of the centre’s third-floor museum. This project will create six jobs during the construction phase.

North Channel Cruise Line


A non-repayable FedNor contribution of $100,000 will help the North Channel Cruise Line to modernize and complete clean energy upgrades to its 100-passenger tour vessel. This strategic investment will help meet the growing demand for the company’s services, create jobs and new tour products, and to improve the environmental efficiency of its operations. Specifically, the funding will be used to replace the vessel’s propulsion system, install 16 solar panels to power electrical systems, modify and improve the cabin to enhance safety, and open a second ticketing outlet on the docks in Killarney, Ontario, to expand cruise and ferry services to Manitoulin Island. Once complete, this project is expected to create one permanent and six seasonal full-time jobs.

Town of Blind River


The Town of Blind River is receiving a non-repayable FedNor contribution of $500,000 to replace existing infrastructure and create a fully accessible dock area with electrical and potable water access at each of its 24 transient boat slips. In addition, the project will establish an emergency docking area to provide boats in distress a safe harbour and create an area for private-sector businesses to work on boats that are too large to be trailered to a land-based workshop. This project builds upon a recently completed FedNor investment to construct a new boardwalk with accessible features, erect a pavilion, and market the community as an accessible tourism destination. Once complete, the project will connect visitors to the community’s downtown area and public beach.

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