Tag: ministry of tourism

Niagara Falls receives funds for annual New Year’s Eve show

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From Niagara This Week:

The city has secured funding from the province to help with the costs associated with the annual New Year’s Eve concert in Queen Victoria Park.

Earlier this year, staff submitted a funding request to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Celebrate Ontario program and was approved. The city will receive $35,000 to help cover costs associated with the event, including securing talent.

“The cost to produce the Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve show increases annually and these additional funds will assist in covering these increased expenses,” council heard from staff in a report that came before them at a special council meeting on June 22.

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Falls receives $323K for 2015 NYE show

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Niagara Falls will receive $323,250 from two tourism programs to help secure talent and pay for production costs for the 2015 New Year’s Eve show.

City staff made a submission for funding to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Celebrate Ontario program for the Queen Victoria Park show televised nationally on Global.

The ministry invited event organizers to submit funding applications for special events taking place this year.

The city was successful in receiving $173,250 to help secure talent.

The city was also successful in securing $150,000 from a Tourism Partnership of Niagara grant, which will be used towards production costs.

Niagara Falls gets funding help for New Year’s Eve

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From Niagara This Week:

The City has managed to secure $240,000 to help stage the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Queen Victoria Park.

Staff was successful in obtaining a pair of grants — $184,500 from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s Celebrate Ontario fund and an additional $50,000 from the Niagara Tourism Partnership.

Independent forensic audit into NPC to go ‘above and beyond’ two recent probes

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

A forensic audit is mining the vast records of the Niagara Parks Commission looking for evidence of wrongdoing, but it won’t be completed before the Oct. 6 election.

“The forensic audit is very complex and is likely to take several more months to complete,” said Ministry of Tourism and Culture spokeswoman Olivia Lam.

The audit began in December.

“To protect the integrity of the investigation process, we are unable to comment about the specifics of the forensic audit as it is still underway.”

HEADS ROLL AS ONTARIO PARKS ATTEMPTS CLEANUP OF MAID OF THE MIST MESS

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From the Niagara Falls Reporter:

Chalk up a victory for justice and the Niagara Falls Reporter — whose articles on Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) and their secret arrangements with James Glynn, longtime owner of the Maid of the Mist — led to more than the unraveling of his lease.

Last week, four NPC commissioners, including staunch Glynn ally Archie Katzman, were fired by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism. Katzman sat on the board for 40 years. The others were Fred Louws, Italia Gilberti and Ed Werner.

NPC General Manager John Kernahan announced he would retire effective immediately. He had been there 12 years. NPC Business Development Director Joel Noden, Kernahan’s righthand man, was unceremoniously fired from his $130,000 job after 13 years. Prior to that, there was the resignation of NPC Chairman Jim Williams, who was replaced by accountant Fay Booker.

In short, all the architects of the Maid of the Mist secret lease arrangements are gone at the NPC.

Chan seeks clean sweep of board

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The Ontario government doesn’t want the same municipal politicians — including Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin and Niagara Falls Coun. Vince Kerrio — reappointed to the Niagara Parks Commission board.

The Niagara Falls Review learned through sources the Ministry of Tourism is looking to follow up its purge of four provincially appointed commissioners by asking Niagara Region, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake to appoint different members to the board than during the last term of council.

A spokesman for Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan confirmed the province doesn’t want familiar faces returning after the four municipalities swear in their councillors this month.

“We are encouraging the municipalities to put forward new names for these appointments,” Mukunthan Paramalingham, the tourism minister’s senior communications adviser, said in an email response to questions posed by The Review. “Our goal is to establish a strong board with members who will bring forth new ideas and qualifications to move the commission forward.”

4 Niagara Parks Commission members turfed

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

The Niagara Parks Commission, which has recently been plagued by scandal and controversy, is in for quite the shake-up.

Late Monday night, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism announced it was removing four commissioners from the Niagara Parks board.

An interim board, composed of chairwoman Fay Booker, vice chairwoman Janice Thomson, four municipal appointees and six senior Ontario public servants will operate until a new permanent board is appointed.

Booker and Thomson will continue to provide leadership and guidance “as we work with the interim board to strengthen the integrity of the commission,” Tourism Minister Michael Chan said in a statement released late Monday.

“Our government is taking action to move the Niagara Parks Commission forward and to restore public confidence in this important government agency. We recognize the concerns that have been raised and are taking decisive steps to set the Niagara Parks Commission in a new direction with stronger governance and greater accountability,” Chan said.

More U.S. visitors come to Ontario

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I’ve said this a couple of times this summer, but I didn’t have any hard numbers to back me up…

From the Niagara Falls Review:

The latest figures from Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism show a modest increase in American visitation to Ontario during June compared to a year earlier when stricter border-crossing regulations came into full effect.

Crossings from the United States to Ontario were up 7.8% in June. Sameday crossings increased 15.2% while overnight crossings were up 2.7% over the same month the year previous.

Wayne Thomson, president of Niagara Falls Tourism, was caught off guard by the figures showing increases in June.

“That’s extremely surprising,” said Thomson, a city councillor and former mayor of Niagara Falls. “That’s completely contrary to the feedback and the statistical information I have received from the major stakeholders.

“There seemed to be satisfaction with January to May, and then a substantial dropoff in June, but July, August and September coming back.”

Operators need to show innovation

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

Weddings aboard a tour boat in the mist of Niagara Falls could become a new tradition depending on what “innovative” ideas companies propose in their bids to operate tours from the Canadian side of the Niagara River.

“You can provide anything that you think will work,” said Bill Mocsan, a consultant hired by the Ministry of Tourism to help the Niagara Parks Commission pick a company to provide tours — a process that could end the commission’s historic tie with the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co.

Mocsan, the government-appointed procurement specialist will draft the request for proposals for companies interested in winning the lease to run boat tours from a piece of parks commission property.

Other possibilities could include hour-long cruises with hot meals. A snack bar on board. And night tours.

The “preview” put up yesterday also has some videos…

Hudak also abandoned tourism

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From the Niagara Falls Review:

It’s ironic to hear Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak accuse the Liberal government of “abandoning” tourism in Niagara Falls, but that’s politics.

Hudak and Conservative tourism critic Ted Arnott blasted Liberal Tourism Minster Michael Chan for not visiting Niagara Falls since he became the provincial cabinet minister responsible for the industry in January.

While Hudak met last week with business leaders from Niagara’s industry, Arnott emailed (for at least the third time) a press release saying “McGuinty Liberals abandon Niagara tourism.”

But when it comes to abandoning Niagara, Hudak seems to have a short memory. In 1995, he was part of the Mike Harris government that scrapped plans to move the entire Ministry of Tourism headquarters to Queen Street, Niagara Falls from downtown Toronto.

If the Tories had relocated the ministry office to the Honeymoon Capital from the provincial capital, every tourism minister would have visited Niagara Falls regularly to check in with the bureaucracy staff.

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