Tourism Relief Fund application form and guidelines

Important note:

The intake period for the Tourism Relief Fund in Northern Ontario is now closed. Applications received and acknowledged by FedNor prior to the intake period closing will be evaluated subject to remaining funding.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Scope & Objectives
  3. Eligibility
    1. Assessment Parameters
    2. Eligible Recipients
    3. Ineligible Recipients
    4. Eligible Activities
  4. Priorities
  5. Funding
    1. Financial Assistance
    2. Maximum
    3. Stacking Limits
    4. Disbursement of Funding
    5. Repayment
  6. Application Process
  7. Completing Phase One Application for Financial Assistance
  8. Assessment Process
  9. Reporting Requirements
  10. Confidentiality
  11. Visibility and Communications Requirements
  12. Service Standards
  13. Other
  14. Contact Us


This Application Guide has been developed to provide instructions to applicants on how to complete a FedNor Application for the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

It is highly recommended that you read this Application Guide in its entirety before starting an application. All sections of the application must be completed, as applicable, and must contain all required information outlined in this guide in order to be considered for funding.  Please pay particular attention to the eligibility criteria to determine if you can apply. Applicants are encouraged to address all submission requirements and ensure that the application submitted contains sufficient detail to enable a thorough review and assessment. Submitting an incomplete application may result in the delay of assessment and/or rejection of an application.

By completing and submitting the Application for Financial Assistance, the applicant acknowledges that the information contained therein is subject the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

Applicants are encouraged to contact FedNor if they have any questions regarding the Application for Funding. For more information, call 1-877-333-6673 or contact a FedNor Officer.

Scope & Objectives

The Tourism Relief Fund will provide a $500 M investment over two years (2021-2022 to 2022-2023), across Canada to support tourism business, including a minimum of $50 million dedicated to Indigenous Tourism initiatives, through investments to improve their offerings and adapt to public health measures for the short and long term.

The objective of Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) is to support tourism entities in strategically adapting their products and services to adjust to public health requirements, while planning for, and investing in, recovery efforts for future growth. The TRF will focus on empowering tourism entities to seize opportunities in domestic markets, and helping the sector reposition itself for international visitors as the country prepares to safely re-open.


  1. Assessment Parameters:

    Applicants must fall under one of the following parameters to be eligible for funding:

    1. A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience
      A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience is one that provides the infrastructure and services necessary to support a tourism economy, connects tourism product to potential markets, leads planning for sustainable destination development and support capacity building/skill development in the sector, etc.
    2. Part of a defined tourism cluster
      A tourism cluster is a geographic concentration of business and organizations involved in tourism, linked by common and complementary products and services that are tailored for the visitor economy and supported by a network of services and associated institutions. A tourism cluster can include- but is not limited to- a community or region that is dependent on tourism for economic activity or is transitioning towards a more tourism-focused local economy.
    3. An anchor product in a destination
      An anchor product in a destination is defined as a key asset that serves as a motivator of travel to the region. It is the activity or product that provides the catalyst for the visitor to visit the destination. Anchor products may be operated by for-profit or not-for-profit organizations.

    NOTE: Eligible applicants may fit under more than one of these categories and will have the opportunity to select all and explain how in the Application.

  2. Eligible Recipients:

    Eligible applicants need to be part of the tourism ecosystem and will include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors.

    Eligible applicants include:

    • Incorporated businesses (primarily SMEs);
    • not-for-profit incorporated organizations (including tourism associations and destination marketing organizations);
    • municipalities, Municipal Development Corporations, and related entities
    • Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses or organizations, an Indigenous organization such as Indigenous-led not-for-profits and organizations which include but are not limited to First Nations as represented by their Chief and Council, Tribal Councils, Indigenous Representative Organizations, Métis and Inuit organizations and Settlements.
  3. Ineligible Recipients:

    Businesses that are in the following industries are normally not eligible under this initiative:

    • Restaurants
    • Retail
    • Hotel chain
  4. Eligible Activities

    Eligible activities will fall under one of two themes:

    • Product Development: Development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’, to modernize tourism offerings and to help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.

      Examples of project activities may include the following:

      • creating, adapting, and enhancing protocols and permanent infrastructure to meet health and safety requirements to accommodate visitors and employees to keep businesses operating;
      • helping operators traditionally reliant on international markets to create innovative tourism offerings attractive to local and domestic visitors; 
      • modernizing operations, attractions, greening initiatives, and online sales services;
      • supporting businesses with local promotion of tourism products, including digital and virtual reality experiences; and
      • Developing capacity for more inclusive tourism experiences (e.g. staff training to ensure welcoming, inclusive environments to diverse clientele, gender-neutral washroom facilities, etc.).
    • Destination Development: Development of a destination which support projects that would position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development, in-line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

      Examples of project activities may include the following:

      • providing support to local communities to develop sustainable tourism plans based on research and market analysis, and designed to rebuild tourism confidence in communities;
      • supporting seasonal dispersion by equipping tourism SMEs to extend their product offering to increase visitation during the winter and shoulder seasons;
      • supporting destinations to implement tourism plans that create or improve local assets, facilities, and planning for key infrastructure;
      • supporting the development and implementation of tourism economic development recovery plans that consider possible key market reactions when travel can safely resume;
      • enhancing tourism services and experiences, including market readiness designed to help communities and SMEs develop experiential tourism, that will respond to visitor expectations post COVID-19;
      • assisting industry partners to support recovery and rebuilding efforts through coordination, and developing new offerings and/or capacity building on behalf of the sector;
      • implementing strategies to re-activate and animate downtown cores, main streets and business districts through activities, public art, and mixed use spaces; and
      • supporting scale-up and market expansion activities for key enterprises essential to economic vitality and the local business climate.


Priority consideration will be given to projects that:

  • support the Indigenous tourism sector;
  • the business/organization is of strategic importance to the tourism sector in the region;
  • contribute to the economic development of a region;
  • contribute to job creation in the region; or
  • take place in a tourism dependent community/region, including projects supporting downtown cores.


  1. Financial Assistance

    All recipients will not normally receive funding for more than one project.

    Contributions to businesses will be either:

    • non-repayable contributions under $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs;


    • fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs.

    *NOTE: A business cannot receive a combination of a non-repayable and a repayable contribution for the same project.

    • Contributions to not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will be non-repayable.
  2. Maximum amount per project

    • The maximum contribution amount per recipient will not exceed $500,000.
    • The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project.
  3. Stacking Limit (all assistance provided through government funding)

    • The maximum level of total government funding (municipal, provincial and federal) is 100%. 
  4. Disbursement of Funding

    If a project receives approval, a contribution agreement will be executed. Funding will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis, calculated based on the percentage of funding approved for eligible costs incurred.

    Advance payments are allowed under this program and based on the recipient’s cash flow requirements.

    To receive funding, recipients must submit claims forms, on templates provided, that summarize eligible costs incurred and paid within a defined period. Generally, the duration of these periods will be quarterly.

  5. Repayment

    The specific terms of repayment, if applicable, including date of commencement and length of repayment term, will be determined on a case-by-case basis during the development of the contribution agreement. Repayment will normally begin no later than one year following the completion of the project.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted and funded on a continuous intake basis over the next two years or until such a time as the allocated funding is fully distributed.

FedNor has a Two-phase application process that is used across all programs.

Completing Phase One Application for Financial Assistance

This section provides information on how to complete the various sections of the FedNor Application for Financial Assistance.

Please consider the following when completing the application:

  • Fields are mandatory unless marked with an asterisk (+). If a required field does not apply to you or the project, please enter “Not applicable”, zero (0), or a similar response.
  • Limit answers to the space provided. Point form, or a bullet list, are acceptable, provided that the information is clear.

While working on your application, please remember to regularly save the file.

FedNor Application for Financial Assistance Form

Applicant and Contact Information

  1. Legal name of Applicant: Provide the legal name of your business, per your Letters Patent or Incorporation Documents, if available.
    Operating name (if different from legal name): The name under which business is publicly conducted. e.g., 123456 Ontario Ltd operating as XYZ Technologies.
  2. Provide a description of your organization and its mandate: Provide a brief overview of the business, including the main areas of business which generate revenues for the company.
  3. Location: Provide the address where the headquarters of the company is located.
  4. Authorized Contact InformationFootnote 1: Identify and provide contact information for the person who is authorizedFootnote 2 to represent the business or organization, and who will be the main point of contact regarding the project. Ensure to indicate if the contact is an authorized signing officer.
  5. Alternative Contact InformationFootnote 1: Identify and provide contact information for a secondary contact that can be reached should the main contact be unavailable.
    Ensure to indicate if the contact is an authorizedFootnote 2 signing officer.
  6. Mailing Address: Select “Same as” if the mailing address is the same as the physical address (#3). If different, provide the complete mailing address.
    Date of Incorporation or Registration (YYYY-MM-DD): Provide the date stated on the company’s Articles of Incorporation, if incorporated, or the date the company was registered.
    Business Number / Enterprise Number: Provide the unique nine-digit numerical identifier assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency.
  7. Type of legal entity: Select the type of legal entity from the list provided.
  8. Official language preferred for correspondence. Select the language in which you would like to receive correspondence related to your application.

Project Information

  1. Project Name: Provide a short name for your project that can be used in communications related to the project.
  2. Project Location (street, unit number, etc.): Provide the address where the project will be taking place and/or managed from, most notably if different from the company address.

    Estimated start date (YYYY-MM-DD): This date is the first day you anticipate incurring expenses for your project, typically the date of a submitted application.
    Note that the project start date cannot be earlier than April 19, 2021.
    Estimated completion date (YYYY-MM-DD): This date is the last day you anticipate incurring expenses for your project.
    Note that the project end date cannot be later than March 31, 2023.

  3. In what official language will your project’s services be offered? Select the language(s) which apply.  English, French or Both.
  4. Please Identify the FedNor Program which you are applying. Select the Northern Ontario Development Program from the pull down menu.
  5. Provide a description and the key activities to be undertaken. Please indicate you are applying for the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). In addition to describing the main activities of the project, please include which stream you are applying for:

    Tourism Relief Fund - Product Development
    Product Development includes the development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’, to modernize tourism offerings and to help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.
    Tourism Relief Fund - Destination Development
    Destination Development includes support  to projects that would position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development, in-line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

  6. Describe the anticipated measurable benefits of the project. Describe the anticipated economic benefits of the project by considering the following: amount and type domestic and international, increased revenue generation, and any other economic benefits related to the project. All amounts reported in this section must be measured from the estimated Start Date of the Project to the End Date of the Project.

    Number of Jobs created: A job created refers to a job that did not exist within the applicant organization prior to the project, but that was created as a direct result of the project activities. An FTE can consist of one person at full-time employment, or more than one person at part-time employment, such that the total working hours of those part-time employees pooled together is equivalent to the hours of one person working full-time. Generally, full-time positions will involve between 35-40 hours in a regular workweek. Do not include FTEs who are employed by suppliers or contracted services.

    Number of Jobs maintained:  A job maintained refers to a job that existed within the applicant organization prior to the project, but that would not continue, or would likely be lost if the project is not funded. An FTE can consist of one person at full-time employment, or more than one person at part-time employment, such that the total working hours of those part-time employees pooled together is equivalent to the hours of one person working full-time. Generally, full-time positions will involve between 35-40 hours in a regular work-week. Do not include FTEs who are employed by suppliers or contracted services. Jobs maintained must be a direct result of the project activities.

Project Costs and Funding Sources

By completing this section, you will be providing FedNor with the key project financing information it needs to assess whether resources requested are appropriate for further review. It is in this section where you will identify the cost of the project, broken down by year, cost category and funding source(s). It is also where you will identify the amount of assistance you are requesting from FedNor.

This section should only contain information pertinent to the project as proposed in the rest of the Application for Funding.

Note that costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months prior to the receipt of a project application, but no earlier than April 19, 2021.


Please read this section to ensure that you are able to acknowledge and/or certify all of the listed statements.  Provide the name and title of the person submitting the application, the name of the person with signing authority for the Applicant, and the date on which the application was completed.

Submitting your Application

Applications can be completed and submitted electronically, or printed and sent to the nearest FedNor office.

If you are submitting the application electronically, you may now click on the “Submit” button. You do not need to sign the form. You will receive an automatic notification within 24 hours of the successful submission of your application. This notification will contain a reference number, please retain this information and a copy of your submission package in case of system overloads or errors.

FedNor may contact applicants for additional details to complete the application.

The results of the Application review will be communicated to applicants electronically or in writing.


If you encounter error messages or security warnings while trying to submit your PDF application, please consult this guide.

Assessment Process

FedNor will review Phase One applications as they are received.

All applications will be screened initially for completeness.

Complete applications are those that include all prescribed documentation containing all information needed for FedNor to complete the review. Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent.

Upon initial review of the Phase One Application for Financial Assistance, applicants will be invited to submit a Phase Two Detailed Application, Annex and provide supporting documentation. The information required and instructions on how to proceed will be provided to applicants.

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants will be required to report to FedNor on project expenditures and activities, the results/outcomes of the project, and achievement of performance indicators as identified in contribution agreements.


All proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable results or ideas will be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure. This information will be treated in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

These laws govern, protect and limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal and confidential information by federal government departments and agencies. Beyond the parties already mentioned above, confidential commercial information will not be shared without the applicant's consent.

Visibility and Communications Requirements

Recipients must agree to participate in a public announcement and other promotional activities linked to the Contribution, as outlined in the Communications requirements section of FedNor's website.

Service Standards

 FedNor is committed to providing quality service to all applicants and funding recipients in the official language of their choice.

Our goal is to:

  • acknowledge receipt of an application within three (3) working days; and,
  • provide a decision on applications within eighty (80) working days of receipt of a fully completed application.


Where applicable, FedNor requires that:

  • Capital projects respect Canada's obligation to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous communities;
  • Applicants use a fair, competitive and transparent procurement process to ensure the best value for money when supplies, equipment and services are purchased or personnel hired; and
  • An appropriate authority or regulatory body endorses the project.

If you decide to accept public funding, depending on the nature of your project and the targeted clientele, you may be asked to assume official languages obligations among other obligations outlined in your contribution agreement.

FedNor requires that all projects conform to requirements set out in the Canadian Impact Assessment Act 2019 (IAA 2019). The Impact Assessment Act (IAA) and its regulations establish the legislative basis for the federal impact assessment process.

Regulations define the types of projects subject to IAA that may require an impact assessment, the information to be provided in project descriptions, Agency deliverables provided to proponents, circumstances of when the Minister may suspend the legislated timelines, and what costs can be recovered from proponents.

Contact Us

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact FedNor to discuss their project with a Program Officer, who will also explore other government programs that may be applicable, or begin your application process.

For more information on FedNor's programs, visit Our Programs, or call 1-877-333-6673. TTY (for hearing-impaired): 1-866-694-8389.


  • A complete Application for Financial Assistance must first be submitted to determine your project's eligibility.
  • Electronic or Written confirmation that an application may proceed to a Phase Two Detailed Application should not be interpreted as FedNor's approval of the proposed project or authorization to start with the proposed activities.
  • Applicants cannot presume that financial support will be provided toward their project until written approval is obtained through a signed contribution agreement.