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  • Writer's pictureCAFE



April 20, 2021 - The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) wants to acknowledge and celebrate many of the initiatives from yesterday’s budget. We are pleased that our advocacy efforts as well as those in partnership with our peers has resulted in many hopefully helpful budget proposals, the strongest of which is $200 million to support local festivals and community events as well as an additional $200 million for major festivals.

Budget 2021 sets the right tone for our industry and the federal government is headed in the right direction, however, there is still much work left to be done. CAFE’s top priority over the coming weeks and months is to ensure that our industry is indeed considered eligible for these measures and that as the details are honed, that they continue to support our industry.

“We have seen over the past year that our organizations don’t fit neatly into one department. We’re heritage, tourism, agriculture, small business, and rural economic development. Because of that, many of our organizations have been deemed ineligible for the targeted relief and regular programs the government has set out,” says Amanda Frigon, President of CAFE, “our goal therefore is to make sure the federal government takes ownership of our industry and gives us a home so that these great measures that have been announced don’t fall by the wayside for our industry as they have in the past.”

CAFE will be calling on the entire industry for their support as the details of these proposed funding announcements are determined.

Noteworthy budget items include:

  • $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sports events and more.

  • $200 million through regional development agencies to support major festivals.

  • $300 million over two years to Canadian Heritage to establish a recovery fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, and Sports sectors to promote recovery from the pandemic.

  • $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.

  • $14 million to Canadian Heritage for the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program.

  • $15 million to Canadian Heritage for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to help arts and heritage institutions upgrade their facilities to meet public health guidelines.

  • $70 million over three years to the Canada Music Fund to support musicians, concert venues, producers and distributors.

  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to September 25, 2021.

  • $50 million for the renewal of the Investment Readiness Program to support charities, non-profits and social purpose organizations in capacity building activities such as business plan development, expanding products and services, skills development and hiring.

  • A new Canada Recovery Hiring Program to offset a portion of extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked, or by hiring more staff.

  • $400 million to Employment and Social Development Canada to create a temporary Community Services Recovery Fund to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize so they can better support the economic recovery in our communities.

  • $500 million over two years for community infrastructure through the regional development agencies to support “the most vibrant spaces in our communities [that] have laid dormant as Canadians took precautions to stay safe.

  • $371.8 million in new funding for Canada Summer Jobs.

  • $100 million to Employment and Social Development Canada to triple funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations. This would help offset the cost of renovations, retrofits and accessible technologies in workplaces.


For more information Christina Franc, Executive Director 800-663-1714

About CAFE

The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions is a registered charity, which represents 743 fairs and agricultural societies across Canada who host more than 17,000 events that greet 35 million people annually an engage Canadians through volunteerism, youth summer jobs and civic engagement. CAFE is committed to fostering excellence through innovative leadership with partners and key stakeholders, providing meaningful resources, collaborating to increase national awareness and ensuring a sustainable future for the fair and event industry. The Canadian fair and exhibition industry has an estimated economic impact of $2.9 billion. Canadian fairs and exhibition organizations have been a substantial and integral part of the fabric of Canadian life for centuries and many have been in existence prior to Canada’s confederation, incorporating arts, culture, heritage, sports and agriculture into our programming. These time-tested organizations host premiere Canadian events that established and continue to maintain our national identity.

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