New initiative in partnership with Ottawa Tourism, Algonquin College, and FedDev Ontario supports Indigenous entrepreneurs in the tourism industry
OTTAWA, September 17, 2020—Ottawa Tourism and Algonquin College are thrilled to launch the Indigenous Tourism Entrepreneurship Training today, aimed at supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs to develop business planning skills and visitor readiness training for their tourism ideas. The Government of Canada is providing Ottawa Tourism $500,000 from the Canadian Experiences Fund, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), to develop this initiative with its partner, Algonquin College. For more information about the course content and to apply visit: storytotell.ca.
This new 10-week training will be offered through Algonquin College’s Discovery, Applied Research, and Entrepreneurship (DARE District)starting on September 29, 2020 and will include online modules and a wrap-up “Pitch Weekend” as part of its intensive learning format. The educational initiative will provide business start-up skills training, market-readiness tools, and access to Ottawa’s tourism ecosystem with the objective of supporting local Indigenous tourism businesses and motivating visitors and locals in Ottawa to engage with Indigenous culture. Upon completion, successful participants will receive a certificate of recognition from Algonquin College and Ottawa Tourism.
This initiative has been developed by Indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to ensure content is specifically tailored for Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs. Teaching will be offered in an Indigenized learning environment so that participants can learn in the traditional ways through Indigenous ways of knowing, including storytelling, and interactions with guest speakers. Participation is free for accepted students, thanks to the financial support from the Canadian Experiences Fund, delivered through FedDev Ontario.
Ottawa Tourism promotes various ways to connect with Indigenous culture both through local Indigenous tourism experiences and through programming at national museums. When the availability of visitor-ready Indigenous tourism products and experiences increases, the whole destination benefits as Ottawa diversifies its offerings to visitors and new entrepreneurs enter the tourism landscape. Graduates of the initiative will be given access to Ottawa Tourism-run networking events, workshops, and professional development opportunities, and Ottawa Tourism will provide one-on-one guidance for eligible graduates interested in applying for Ottawa Tourism’s Destination Development Fund for specific projects.
“Visitors to Ottawa are looking to connect with Canada’s soul, and an integral part of this is learning about Indigenous cultures,” says Michael Crockatt, Ottawa Tourism’s President and CEO. “Ottawa Tourism looks forward to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs’ new tourism businesses and marketing those experiences to our visitors. Thanks to our partners, Algonquin College and FedDev Ontario, for making this happen.”
“This initiative is an important addition to Algonquin College’s robust offering of programs and training for Indigenous learners. Where the DARE District has the capacity and the experience to undertake learning in an Indigenized environment, our partners at Ottawa Tourism have the expertise on what makes for a strong tourism experience,” says Algonquin College’s Ron McLester, Vice President of Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenization. “Together, we can provide Indigenous entrepreneurs and learners who are interested in starting their own tourism business with the tools necessary for success.”
“Welcoming the world to the lands that Indigenous peoples have called home since time immemorial, it’s not hard to see why Indigenous tourism is the fastest growing segment of our tourism sector. This investment will create good jobs and help Indigenous people seize opportunities in the tourism sector, and I’m excited to see the difference it makes.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
About Ottawa Tourism
Ottawa Tourism provides destination development and marketing, strategic direction, and leadership in cooperation with its members and partners, welcoming leisure travellers, business travellers, group tours, and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its goal is to support the local tourism economy, fueled by an estimated 11 million visitors annually in recent years and with $3 billion in typical economic output for Ottawa, generating community wealth through tourism. Ottawa Tourism’s vision is to offer the complete capital experience, tell the story of Canada, and get people talking.
About FedDev Ontario
FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region.
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications Specialist, Ottawa Tourism