Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), Destination BC and the Tourism Innovation Lab have partnered to launch the second Indigenous Tourism BC “Spark” Program. The initiative will spark new Indigenous tourism ideas and experiences which authentically represent, celebrate, and promote Indigenous cultures, heritage, language, cuisine, and communities in British Columbia.
View official program announcement video: Here
The program works by matching selected applicants with a tourism mentor, providing a $5,000 seed grant as well as additional partner support to help develop new tourism experiences. Applications are encouraged from Indigenous entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in British Columbia, from November 18, 2022 – January 18, 2023. Following a review process, five finalists will be invited to a virtual Pitch Session on February 9, 2023, where three winners will be selected.
The organizers are especially interested in new Indigenous tourism ideas that support and/or offer shoulder season activities in rural areas, opportunities for guided interpretive programs, learning and creating authentic crafts with artists, culinary experiences, and ideas that support truth and reconciliation, sustainability and/or address climate change.
Funders and supporters of the Indigenous Tourism BC “Spark” Program include Destination BC, Indigenous Tourism BC, and TD Bank Group.
The “Spark” Program was first launched in Ontario in 2018 by the Tourism Innovation Lab and is expanding throughout British Columbia, supported by Destination BC. For more information on the “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program and upcoming info sessions visit: www.tourisminnovation.ca/ITBC
Learn more and apply, here.
Brenda Baptiste, Board Chair, Indigenous Tourism BC
“Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is pleased to partner with Destination BC and the Tourism Innovation Lab in continuing the Indigenous Tourism “Spark” Program in BC. We hope the mentorship and support will attract new ideas and entrepreneurs from rural areas and develop new off-season experiences that address climate change, support sustainability, and contribute to truth and reconciliation.”
Richard Porges, President & CEO, Destination BC
“Destination BC is excited to partner with Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and the Tourism Innovation Lab to launch the 2022 ITBC “Spark” Program and support Indigenous entrepreneurs as they endeavor to bring new tourism ideas to life. The “Spark” Program provides mentorship and opportunity for meaningful Indigenous tourism development that focuses on supporting new experiences and ideas that contribute to growing and promoting a sustainable Indigenous tourism industry in BC.”
Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab
“We are thrilled to be launching our second Indigenous Tourism “Spark” Program in British Columbia. Supporting Indigenous tourism ideas and innovators through mentorships and financial contributions will help propel this growing sector and create exciting new Indigenous led-tourism offerings and experiences across BC.”
Subscribe to our newsletter