New Program Aims To “Spark” New Indigenous Tourism Ideas Across British Columbia

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Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), Destination BC and the Tourism Innovation Lab have partnered to launch the 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. 

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 9 to December 17, 2021. Following a review process, five finalists will be invited to a virtual Pitch Session on January 25, 2022 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