Ontario Supports Tourism, Culture, Sport and Recreation Organizations

News Release

Ontario Supports Tourism, Culture, Sport and Recreation Organizations

March 16, 2021

New grant program will help those who are struggling during COVID-19

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. 

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has been fulfilling a commitment to be there to support those struggling the most," said Minister MacLeod. "Today's investment is a critical part of our plan to support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario. The Community Building Fund is helping organizations whose programs and services enhance the quality of life for Ontarians and support local jobs across the province."

The fund will be administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two program streams: 

  • The $55-million operating funding stream will provide community non-profits with the support they need to help sustain their operations and create new experiences and events - such as trail systems, heritage attractions, winter activities and local sport and recreation programming - that are critical to the economic and social well-being of their communities. 
  • The $50-million capital funding stream will go to municipalities and non-profit organizations to carry out sport- and recreation-facility infrastructure repairs, including retrofits and rehabilitation to meet COVID-19 public health protocol requirements and local community needs. 

"OTF is proud to be delivering the Community Building Fund on behalf of the Ontario government and actively participate in our province's recovery," said Katharine Bambrick, CEO, Ontario Trillium Foundation. "This is critical new funding for organizations that will help re-invigorate communities across Ontario." 

The operating stream of the Community Building Fund will open for applications on March 31, 2021, while the fund's capital stream will open later in 2021. 

This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. The government will be tabling budget 2021 on March 24 and it will focus on protecting people's health and protecting the economy.


  • Arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation non-profit organizations, and Indigenous communities are eligible to apply for the Community Building Fund streams. For more information, eligibility requirements and deadlines, see here.
  • For organizations interested in applying for the Community Building Fund, OTF will provide support via webinars and information sessions, as well as one-on-on coaching calls.
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, working to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario through investments of local grants to non-profit organizations. Its programs support the arts, culture, heritage, sports and recreation, human and social services, and environment sectors across the province.
  • Ontario's Action Plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.
  • The government is building on earlier relief to provide a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to $11.3 billion in cash flow support.