Results-based Plan Briefing Book 2011-12 arrow Priorities and Results for 2011-12


Priorities and Results for 2011-12

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture recognizes that Ontario’s tourism and culture sectors contribute significantly to Ontario’s overall economic and social prosperity, helping the province build a stronger, more competitive economy and vibrant, liveable communities. 

In 2011-12, the Ministry will focus on enhancing and supporting the tourism and culture sectors, protecting Ontario’s heritage, investing in tourism and cultural agencies and delivering the programs and services that support Ontario’s cultural and creative industries, a thriving tourism marketplace, arts, heritage, museums and public libraries.

Ministry Activities for 2011-12

The Ministry contributes to a more prosperous Ontario by:

  • Supporting the growth of the creative economy and enabling it to innovate and respond to opportunities in a constantly transforming digital age;
  • promoting regional coordination of tourism activities;
  • creating vibrant liveable communities by protecting the province’s cultural resources, investing in its public libraries and preserving Ontario’s heritage;
  • building Ontario’s national and international profile through tourism and culture; and 
  • enhancing Ontario’s investment in and profile of its tourism and cultural agencies, attractions and infrastructure.

The Ministry supports vibrant liveable communities by partnering with municipalities, local partners and stakeholders to leverage cultural resources and help preserve and promote the unique heritage of our communities.  

The Ministry focuses on building strong and sustainable agencies with a commitment to revitalizing and strengthening its accountability relationship with its 21 tourism and cultural agencies.


Through strategic investments in the entertainment and creative cluster, the Ministry strengthens the environment for innovation, encourages high-skill job creation, and fosters partnerships across the Ontario government and within the industry. Together, these activities generate economic growth and build Ontario’s competitive advantage in the knowledge-based economy.

In 2011-12, the Ministry will:

  • Continue to engage with stakeholders, partner ministries and other levels of government to drive innovation and economic development in Ontario’s entertainment and creative cluster industries, including film and television, book publishing, magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media.
  • Undertake research and work with stakeholders to increase knowledge of the cultural and creative industries to support their success domestically and in markets around the world.
  • Deliver a comprehensive range of programs and policies that help the creative cluster reach its full potential, including the enhancements made to the province’s cultural industries tax credits, the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund and the Interactive Digital Media Fund.
  • Provide sustained funding for the Ontario Media Development Corporation through full implementation of the $15 million increase to its annual budget announced in the 2010 Budget, allowing it to set long-term plans and goals for the industries it serves.
  • Effectively represent Ontario’s priorities and interests with respect to its creative industries by engaging with other levels of government as appropriate. This includes working with the Department of Canadian Heritage and other federal departments and engaging with the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission.


The Ministry provides policy, program and funding support to Ontario’s cultural community directly and through its arts and culture agencies. These investments contribute to Ontario’s reputation for world-class collections and cultural events that showcase the best of the province’s cultural diversity and creativity to Ontarians and the world. 

In 2011-12 the Ministry will:

  • Continue to invest in public libraries and library service agencies with a focus on encouraging capacity building, ensuring consistent services and equitable access to information. Libraries support key provincial priorities as Ontario transitions to the knowledge economy, including literacy and life-long learning, training and employment services and newcomer settlement services.
  • Through its agency, the Ontario Arts Council, continue to make strategic investments in Ontario’s artists and arts organizations in communities across the province. 
  • Continue to provide support to cultural organizations to expand their audiences and increase revenues through the three-year, $27 million Arts Investment Fund. This fund, delivered through the Ontario Arts Council, will help the arts sector continue to grow and become more competitive.
  • Continue to provide funding through the Cultural Strategic Investment Fund for projects sponsored by arts organizations, cultural industry organizations, heritage organizations, public libraries, public library sector organizations, and research and academic institutions.
  • Through its agency, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, continue to support strong and healthy community initiatives in arts and culture, environment, human and social services, and sports and recreation.
  • Continue to provide funding through the Creative Communities Prosperity Fund for projects that support municipal and Aboriginal cultural planning activities. The ministry will also continue to provide advice on and promote cultural planning as a way to increase awareness of the value of culture in local economic development and growth plans.


Ontario’s cultural and tourism attractions and agencies generate strong economic returns for Ontario communities. Revitalization of agency and attraction infrastructure acts as a vehicle for job creation and economic stimulus. Improved accountability frameworks will ensure both growth and sustainability.

The Ministry continues to implement key recommendations from the 2009 Discovering Ontario: A Report on the Future of Tourism and is working with Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO) with a focus on coordination of tourism marketing and management to increase visitation, boost economic activity and create jobs across the province.

In 2011-12, the Ministry will:

Tourism Regions

  • Continue implementing a regional approach to tourism and work with the 13 newly established tourism regions across Ontario.
  • Continue funding to support tourism growth and economic development in Ontario’s tourism regions with $65 million in 2011-12, and $58.75 million in 2012-13 (if passed by the Legislature) and $40 million in ongoing annual funding starting in 2013-14.
  • Continue to consult with tourism partners across the province in the development of consistent funding mechanisms to support regional tourism.  


  • Work with industry partners and the training sector to ensure that tourism industry workers have access to the training necessary to provide enhanced tourist experiences.

Open Ontario

  • Work with the industry to modernize, reduce or eliminate barriers to economic development.
  • Invite tourism sector representatives to identify regulatory burdens with the goal of streamlining our approach to the industry.


  • Continue to guide marketing, policy and product development decisions by providing strategic information and analysis, including monitoring domestic and international tourism trends, forecasting, product research, economic impact analyses and determining the size and contribution of tourism to the provincial economy.


  • Invest $20 million through Celebrate Ontario 2011 to enhance festival and event programming and activities for over 230 events across Ontario, leading to long-term improvements, increased visitation and visitor spending.
  • Invest the 2011 edition of the Convention Development Fund to help six convention cities attract new national and international conventions.
  • Complete a 10-year Tourism Investment Strategy and Implementation Plan to help attract increased private sector investment to Ontario's tourism industry and to support investment and development in the provincial tourism regions.
  • Support multi-region and provincial tourism development initiatives, and industry capacity building through the Tourism Development Fund.

Agency/Attraction Renewal

  • Continue to renew its tourism agencies and attractions, and support them in their role as tourism icons and local and regional economic catalysts:
    • Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) - NPC will continue to improve its governance and operations and will complete the competitive process for the land lease of tour boat operations at Niagara Falls.
    • St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) - Complete the governance review of the SLPC and implement changes to improve board effectiveness and accountability procedures while implementing best practices.
    • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) – Continue to implement the program, information technology, governance, organizational and partnership reviews of OTMPC undertaken in 2010-11.
    • In 2011, the OPC revitalization planning effort is expected to result in a proposed vision for the future of OPC that will include viable concepts supported by a strong business case and procurement strategy.
    • Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) - Continue to support MTCC in hosting international conferences and events. The MTCC is proceeding with a Modernization Project for its North Building at a cost of up to $29 million.

Capital Investments

The Ministry preserves and enhances Ontario’s tourism and cultural infrastructure. The Ministry also administers on behalf of the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport and Recreational Infrastructure Canada program (RInC) in support of provincial sport and recreation infrastructure. The Ministry manages the infrastructure development commitments of the province’s capital infrastructure initiative – the Sport, Culture and Tourism Partnership Program  

In 2011-12, the Ministry will:

  • Revitalize infrastructure and interpretive facilities at the St. Lawrence Parks Commission’s Upper Canada Village and Fort Henry World Heritage Site as SLPC gets ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Upper Canada Village in June.
  • Commence planning for new exhibit facilities and continuing maintenance of buildings at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.
  • Prepare for construction of a permanent berm to protect the heritage and modern structures at Fort William Historic Park from future floods. Additionally, a secondary ingress/egress will be constructed to help alleviate congestion and access for emergency vehicles.
    • Continue to invest in capital repair and rehabilitation at tourism and culture agencies to address renovations, building code upgrades, health and safety improvements and statutory/regulatory compliance.
    • Continue to provide project stewardship for the newly completed Ottawa Convention Centre (opened in April 2011).
    • Support infrastructure projects that help Ontario’s non-profit organizations deliver important public services to diverse cultural communities through the Community Capital Fund (CCF). Now in its first full year of implementation, the CCF is delivered by the Ministry’s agency, the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
    • Ensure continued high standards regarding governance, fiscal management and accountability in the province’s tourism and cultural agencies.

In 2011-12, the Ministry will continue to implement the following projects under the joint Federal/Provincial Infrastructure Stimulus fund program:

  • Niagara Parks Commission - $8.94 million to complete several projects relating to the War of 1812 commemoration, including the construction of a new visitor centre at Old Fort Erie.
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection - $4.2 million to complete the rehabilitation of the grounds and improve site access.
  • Science North - $6.2 million to complete several projects, including the significant expansion of the exhibit space in the main building that opened in 2010-11.
  • Ontario Heritage Trust - $1.5 million for several rehabilitation projects of historic properties across Ontario.
  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission - $4.6 million for road and bridge repair which is completed in 2010-11.


Cultural tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the global tourism market.  The Ministry markets and promotes Ontario’s world-class facilities, festivals, collections and programs to showcase the best of our cultural diversity and creativity, making Ontario a leading cultural destination for tourists.

In 2011-12, the Ministry will:

Domestic and International Marketing

  • Continue to market Ontario domestically and internationally as a premier year-round travel destination through the OTMPC, or the OTMPC in partnership with the Regional Tourism Organizations, including:
    • Focusing efforts on maximizing returns from existing markets while continuing to explore new opportunities in emerging international markets;
    • Enhancing OTMPC’s consumer website and other digital marketing media as critical communication channels to reach consumers worldwide; and    
    • Continuing to support festivals and events across Ontario that attract national and international interest.

. Events of International Significance

  • Strive to attract large events like the G20 Summit. The G20 Summit was a non-recurring and extraordinary event that had a significant positive impact on the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s 2010-11 financial results.  It will not have the opportunity to host another event similar to the size of the G20 Summit in 2011-12, however, there are some substantial events in the calendar, most notably SIBOS (the Swift International Banking Operations Seminar), which is considered to be the world’s premier financial services conference and tradeshow attracting senior bank leaders from all financial institutions around the globe. This event will bring international attention to the province and its tourism and cultural destinations and experiences.
  • Host the International Indian Film Academy Weekend and Awards in June 2011, a major international event with a worldwide television viewing audience of 600 million. Toronto is the first North American city to host the awards. Ontario is expected to attract 40,000 visitors during the four-day festival, including 500 actors and producers.
  • Support Regional War of 1812 Bicentennial groups in Algoma/Sault Ste. Marie; Southern Georgian Bay; St. Lawrence; South West (Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent); Niagara; Toronto and Western Corridor (the Cities of Burlington, Hamilton, Brantford and London together with the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Elgin, Oxford and Middlesex) to build capacity to plan, develop and implement local and regional Bicentennial events and initiatives. 
  • Work with key stakeholders, Ontario ministries, the federal government and other governments, including in the U.S., to identify and develop heritage tourism opportunities and partnerships related to the War of 1812 Bicentennial.
  • Leverage the opportunities for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Games which will promote Ontario’s tourism and culture leading up to and during the games. Ontario assumes its role as the next official host at the 2011 Pan/Parapan Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October. Ontario will use this as a key opportunity to promote Ontario domestically and internationally as a world-class tourism and cultural destination.
  • Raise Ontario’s international profile as a place to visit, live and invest; and build international support and excitement for 2015 Pan/Parapan Games in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.


To protect and conserve Ontario’s heritage and archaeological resources, the Ministry administers the Ontario Heritage Act, invests in the community museums and historical societies that play an important part in the stewardship of Ontario’s heritage resources, and provides advice, support and outreach to a wide range of organizations involved in heritage conservation and cultural planning. 

In 2011-12, the Ministry will:

  • Strengthen the protection, preservation and conservation of built heritage and archaeological resources and improve customer service through the development of new and enhanced policies, tools and processes that increase compliance with the Ontario Heritage Act.
  • Proceed with the implementation of the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties and the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists, including the ongoing monitoring and identification of emerging policy issues.
  • Ensure ongoing delivery of the provincial licensing program for archaeologists and management of the Ontario Public Register of Archaeological Reports and the provincial database for archaeological sites.
  • Promote the protection of Ontario’s built heritage and archaeological resources through the Ministry’s involvement in land-use planning applications and approvals (e.g., the Renewable Energy Approval) under provincial legislation including the Environmental Protection Act, the Planning Act and the Environmental Assessment Act.
  • Undertake research and engagement to inform the development of policies and tools to help promote and preserve the cultural heritage of Ontario’s Aboriginal peoples.
  • Continue to deliver cultural heritage conservation training, education, outreach and advisory services to support implementation of the Ontario Heritage Act in order to increase the number of municipal heritage committees and designations of heritage properties.
  • Continue to invest in community museums and heritage organizations to help create new exhibits, improve collections and make Ontarians’ stories more accessible.

Highlights of 2010-11 Achievements

In 2010-11, the Ministry protected the province’s cultural heritage resources, promoted its world-class tourism offerings, and invested in the events and facilities that play an important role in the life of our communities.

By investing in high-growth creative industries, the Ministry boosted Ontario’s competitiveness in the knowledge-based economy. Through ongoing engagement with the cultural community and other partners, the Ministry enabled the culture sector to deliver many benefits that help to improve quality of life and build a sense of community and identity across the province.

By taking these and other steps, the Ministry continued to help ensure that Ontarians can benefit from strong and sustainable growth in the tourism and culture sectors.

Results and key achievements for 2010-11 include:

Implementation of Discovering Ontario: A Report on the Future of Tourism

  • Established 13 tourism regions each with a strong Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) responsible for developing regional tourism strategic plans, developing and implementing regional marketing campaigns, developing tourism products, attracting investments, coordinating activities, and building relationships within their regions, between RTOs and with provincial sector associations.
  • Increased funding for transition to the regional tourism strategy by investing an additional $18.75 million in 2012-13 (if passed by the Legislature).

Celebrate Ontario

  • Delivered the 2010 Celebrate Ontario program which expanded and enhanced 169 festivals and events across the province. 


  • Negotiated an agreement to host the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards in June 2011. Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to host the IIFA Weekend and Awards.

Convention Development Fund

  • Committed $2.75 million through the Convention Development Fund to help six convention cities (Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Niagara Falls) attract new national and international conventions.

Support to Agencies and Attractions

  • Agency Reviews - Undertook in-depth reviews of St. Lawrence Parks Commission and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to enhance openness and accountability, promote modern strategic governance principles, ensure effective programming and improve the efficiency of the agencies. SLPC successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Federal Government for the operation of the Fort Henry site.
  • Ontario Place Corporation - The Ministry continued to work with OPC to implement improvements recommended in the recent operational review.
  • Enhanced Programming to broaden audience appeal and support increased visitation at:
  • Fort William Historical Park- Developed tourism information distribution partnerships with all significant  Northwestern Ontario Regional Tourism Organizations utilizing the Fort William Historical Park's strategic Canada Gateway Centre in Grand Marais, Minnesota and expanding billboard branding and refreshed images in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Manitoba and Ontario. 
  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission - Presented strong programming at SLPC– “Fort Fright”, “Sunset Ceremonies” and “Alight at Night;
  • Huronia Historical Parks - Presented the “First Light” programming at HHP. 
  • Support to Niagara Parks Commission:
    • assisted NPC with the development and issuance of a complex, high-profile, Request for Proposals to obtain a land lease for a tour boat operator (issued on August 20, 2010 and closed on January 31, 2011);
    • provided advice on procurement and revenue generating opportunity policies;
    • initiated audits on procurement and travel expenses;
    • negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding with NPC;
    • confirmed the appointment of interim Board members to support change in the organization; and
    • appointed a new Chair to promote improvements in governance and accountability.
  • Support to Ontario Place Corporation:
    • In 2010, Ontario Place Corporation issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas from around the world for revitalizing the OPC site as a signature year-round waterfront attraction.  The Request resulted in 35 responses.  OPC also developed a new public website to provide the public with opportunities to submit their own ideas.  Over 1200 ideas were received.  Furthermore, OPC created a new My Ontario Place Pavilion photo exhibit and video display of the history of OPC which had approximately 2,500 visitors.
    • The upgrade of the Cinesphere into a 3D IMAX theatre was initiated. Designs and projector procurement were completed in 2010. The 2011 installations and upgrades will include the new 3D projector, new screen and sound systems, plus new seating and lighting.
  • Support to Convention Centres:
  • Ottawa Convention Centre - Continued support of the meeting and convention sector with the completion of the new Ottawa Convention Centre, officially opened in April 2011.
  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre - Contributed to the solid performance of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in hosting 584 events – including the G20 Summit – with attendance of 1,932,737.
  • Released “Ontario’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster: A Framework for Growth” in June 2010, which includes recommendations to guide policy and program development to support the entertainment and creative cluster’s competitiveness.
  • Implemented the $7 million increase to the Ontario Media Development Corporation’s (OMDC’s) base funding announced in the 2010-11 budget, which will grow to $15 million in 2011-12.
  • Invested $9 million over three years in the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) to help expand its training programs and further develop Ontario’s screen-based and digital entertainment market. This builds on a $10 million investment announced in 2005 in the CFC, the country’s largest institution for advanced training in film, television and new media.
  • Established the new Arts Investment Fund through the Ontario Arts Council that will provide $27 million over three years to help the not-for-profit arts sector continue to grow and become more competitive and sustainable.
  • Invested an additional $2 million in the ministry’s library service agencies to support public libraries by offering electronic services, such as electronic databases, to Ontarians.
  • Invested an additional $10 million over three years in the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF) to help not-for-profit cultural and heritage organizations promote and present high-profile events that attract new audiences.
  • Launched a new program to support infrastructure projects for non-profit organizations that deliver important public services to diverse cultural communities. The $50 million, three-year Community Capital Fund is administered by the Ministry’s agency, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and invests in projects that revitalize community-based infrastructure.
  • Enhanced heritage grant programs for museums and provincial and local heritage organizations with an additional investment of $650,000.

For more details on 2010-11 achievements, refer to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s 2010-11 Annual Report.

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