The Ontario Government is helping Hastings County and its partners enhance local tourism and cultural assets. Leona Dombrowsky, MPP for Prince Edward-Hastings announced on behalf of the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism & Culture an investment of $37,000 to help complete a strategic cultural plan and a further $25,000 to support implementation of the County’s Premier-ranked Tourism Destinations Project.
“The McGuinty Government is committed to working closely with our regional partners here in Hastings County and across the province, supporting the positive growth of our creative economy and tourism industry,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. “These investments help promote Ontario’s tourism experiences, attracting visitors from within our borders and beyond while generating jobs and stimulating local economies throughout the province.”
“These resources will support new opportunities to showcase tourism and cultural experiences in Hastings County,” stated Leona Dombrowsky, MPP, Prince Edward-Hastings.
“It could be argued that Art and culture are the greatest expression of our humanity, and enriches our lives by creating a legacy of beauty,” added Lou Rinaldi, MPP, Northumberland-Quinte West. “It is also a major economic engine in Canada. According to the Conference Board of Canada, art and culture generate more than $80 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits every year, and creates 1.1 million jobs across the country”.
In partnership with the Cities of Belleville and Quinte West, the County will engage community residents, partners and stakeholders to identify and profile local cultural assets to help develop a comprehensive cultural plan. The County will also use funding to hire a Destination Development Coordinator to implement the findings from the recently completed Premier-ranked Tourism final report.
“Hastings County is grateful for the financial contribution from the Province”, states Warden Jo-Anne Albert. “Once again, I’m happy to see that our partnership with our Cities of Belleville and Quinte West is paying off and we have the continuing support of our M.P.P. Leona Dombrowsky and the Province”.
In addition to the funding, Leona Dombrowsky helped the County officially launch the County’s new Arts Route in front of a crowd at a special celebration at the Marble Church Arts Centre in Actinolite. Developed by County economic development staff in partnership with the local arts community, the Arts Route directs people to artisans and their galleries across Hastings County. An Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP) grant of $10,000 acted as seed money to help develop the Route.
“Investments such as this one in the Arts Route not only fortifies the economic strength of our communities through tourism, but also recognizes the cultural and artistic excellence so prevalent in Prince Edward-Hastings,” said Daryl Kramp, MP. “Our government applauds the wonderful work carried out by Community Futures Development Corporations and we are so proud to support their efforts.”
A website www.artsroute.ca has been setup and a mobile version for smartphones is also in place.