MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy Supporting Festivals and Events in the City of Pickering

Funding will help reconnect community and boost Pickering’s economy 

Pickering, ON – Ontario is investing more than $48 million to help festival and event organizers carry out innovative and safe experiences that help create great Ontario staycation experiences for visitors and stimulate local economic growth. Funding from the Reconnect Ontario program will support events in Pickering and enable recipient organizations to expand programming to draw visitors who will stay longer in local accommodations, eat in restaurants, shop at local retailers and support main street businesses. 

“For nearly two years, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted tourism and culture – two major industries that bring our communities to life, and Ontarians together,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 

“By supporting festivals and events through the Reconnect Ontario program, our government is delivering a much-needed boost to the sector as we continue to recover from the effects of COVID-19. We are supporting organizations across the province that are finding new, innovative ways to safely reconnect Ontarians – helping them to engage with their communities and creating local jobs.” 

Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge announced that the following local events are receiving funding support: 

• City of Pickering – $51,800 for Cultural Fusion Festival 

• Canadian Food Truck Festival – $51,985 for the Pickering Food Truck Festival 

“Our government recognizes the important contributions that festivals and events make to local communities,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “I am pleased that we are supporting event organizers right here at home in creating safe, innovative experiences that will help reconnect people while boosting our local economy and creating local jobs.” 

“On behalf of the City of Pickering, its Members of Council, and residents, I sincerely thank the Government of Ontario for supporting meaningful community-building events such as the Cultural Fusion Fair,” said Dave Ryan, Mayor, City of Pickering. “Like no other celebration, Pickering’s Cultural Fusion Fair is the embodiment of our community and encourages cultural expression through a vibrant and dynamic array of dance, music, food, and storytelling.” 

“Reconnect Ontario has been a lifeline for the Festival and Events Industry, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This program has provided the needed support to hire back Event Staff who have been unemployed and underemployed during this challenging time. Canadian Food Truck Festivals is very grateful to the Reconnect Ontario program for the much-needed financial support, which will help to rebuild Events & Tourism in Ontario,” said Ben Freeman, Executive Director of Canadian Food Truck Festivals. 

Reconnect Ontario is a provincial grant program that supports festivals and events that encourage local tourism and motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, while reconnecting people with local experiences and increasing tourism spending. The program is receiving $42.9 million in 2022 to support 547 festivals and events around the province. 

Ontario is also providing $5.2 million to events through the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster Program and to Luminato. The Reconnect Ontario – Marquee Event Fund (foramlly the Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program) supports municipalities and organizations in Ontario that host large-scale, high-impact signature events. 



• Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting approximately 395,000 jobs and generating over $38 billion in spending. 

• This investment is a continuation of the historic one-time COVID recovery funding announced in 2021 that more than doubled the annual funding usually provided to festivals and events. 

• In 2021, due to overwhelming demand, the government provided a historic $49 million through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program (now Reconnect Ontario) and the Reconnect Ontario – Marquee Event Fund (fomally Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster). 



Reconnect Ontario 2022 program grant recipients 



Office of Peter Bethlenfalvy 

MPP, Pickering – Uxbridge 

(905) 509-0336