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Industry Report - February 2024

Scugog Tourism Networking Event: Collaborating For Success

Join Central Counties Tourism (CCT), Scugog Tourism and Durham Tourism, for the next Collaborating for Success tourism networking event on February 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Piano Inn & Café in Port Perry.

This event will offer the perfect opportunity to get to know other tourism stakeholders within the region, catch up with some familiar faces, and participate in engaging conversations that may lead to future collaborations or exciting product development ideas. Registration closes February 22.

Reserve your spot
Graphic with text that reads, "Whitby Chamber of Commerce’s Connectivity Conference"

Whitby Chamber of Commerce: Connectivity Conference 

The Whitby Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Connectivity Conference (formerly known as Connect Women) will take place on March 7 at the Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility. This year’s theme is Maximizing Outcomes—encouraging business owners to get unstuck. Bring your business outcomes and learn how to refocus your energy and activities to win!

Winning could be advancing your business, your career or personal goals; none of which come easy if you're not clear on what you're trying to achieve.

Learn more
Graphic with text that reads, "Film and Television Industry Career Fair"

Explore Exciting Careers In Film And Television

With new studios opening across Canada and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, film and television production volumes are rising at unprecedented rates! Creating a movie or television series requires a broad range of skills and interests, and provides many well-paying, high-quality jobs—from script to screen, to special effects.

Learn about these opportunities in Durham Region and beyond at the Film and Television Industry Career Fair on March 25, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Durham College – Ontario Tech University Campus in Oshawa. Meet industry professionals, visit interactive displays and experience what it is like behind-the-scenes!

Register now

Canada Investing In Neighbourhoods With My Main Street (MMS) Program

The Government of Canada recently announced a $15-million investment for the Canadian Urban Institute to continue the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario through MMS.

The program will offer streamlined direct-to-business support and complementary programming for community projects that will encourage growth and economic prosperity.


With this investment, the organization will launch two new programs through MMS to provide funding and support for businesses and community organizations across southern Ontario. The new programs will support up to 325 businesses on main streets across 100 communities, along with 75 community projects promoting high impact placemaking activities. These activities will help draw people to main streets and encourage locals and visitors to support an estimated 2,500 community businesses and organizations.

Learn more about MMS

Central Counties Tourism (CCT) 2024-25 Partnership Program

As part of their partnership program, CCT challenges every organization entering a partnership to determine how they will work with others to encourage increased length of visit and money spent.

New to the 2024-25 Partnership Program this year:


  • Three priority streams for partnership support, including out-of-region marketing, multi-stakeholder development initiatives, and destination development;  
  • Two intake periods to support projects occurring between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2025; 
  • Only one application per stream per tourism business or organization; and,  
  • All applicants must be registered with CCT.

The application portal is now open, and the first of two intake deadlines is March 15

Learn more and apply
Hand holding a beer in front of a rainbow at Old Flame Brewery in Port Perry

Become A Rainbow Registered Business

Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses and organizations. When you see a Rainbow Registered symbol, you know the business or organization meets a stringent set of standards to ensure all customers feel safe, welcomed and accepted.

As part of the Canadian 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce’s suite of programs, accredited businesses are deemed market-ready for 2SLGBTQI+ customers and given the right to be associated with the Rainbow Registered designation mark. The program grants time-limited recognition to businesses and organizations for demonstrating compliance with the quality standard.

Start the process
Public art in Oshawa

Downtown Oshawa Urban Square Public Art Opportunity

The City of Oshawa has launched an open call for expressions of interest for a public sculpture to be installed in the Downtown Oshawa Urban Square—which is expected to be completed by July 2025.

This two-stage competition is open to all Canadian artists. The total budget for the project, including artist fees, materials, fabrication, shipping and installation is $145,000 (plus HST). Applications are due by March 4.

The artwork is being commissioned in honour of Oshawa’s centennial anniversary in 2024, which marks 100 years since the City of Oshawa was incorporated. To celebrate this milestone, the City of Oshawa is offering a wide range of festivals, events and activities in 2024.

Learn more and apply

Tourism Workforce Sustainability Program

Are you ready to get ahead of your hiring needs? Now is the time. Register for the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Tourism Workforce Sustainability Program and access the resource-rich employer guide prepared for tourism businesses across Ontario.

Find new ways to attract, recruit and retain your staff; discover programs available to support you and your teams; and see if you're eligible for a living wage top-up to help attract and retain talent.

Register now

Local Business Highlights

Congratulations to BOND|ST Café on their official opening in downtown Oshawa! The café is part of the BOND|ST Event Centre—which recently held its first concert and has an event calendar that is quickly selling out. The café is open Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with coffee and baked goods. Now, not only can you enjoy live music in this space, but great coffee too. Learn more.

Latte and spoon on top of a book at Brock Street Espresso in Whitby

blogTO recently travelled to Downtown Whitby to experience its many activities and local shopping opportunities, including a visit to Brock Street Espresso and the nostalgic video game arcade 8 Bit Beans. With nearby nature trails, Whitby is the perfect place to plan your next escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Learn more

Hosting an event? Great Blue Heron Casino & Hotel just revealed their brand-new Live Entertainment and Special Events Venue! The new addition boasts a total capacity of nearly 800, making it an ideal space for a wide range of events—from live performances and concerts to corporate gatherings—spanning an impressive 12,637 square feet. Learn more.

Discover more local businesses

🥌 The 2024 Canadian Police Curling Championship will be held from April 6 to 13 at the Whitby Curling Club. Spectators are encouraged to come cheer on police officers from across the country as they represent their provinces in this event that mirrors the Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts competitions.  Event organizers are still seeking sponsorship and support from local businesses and volunteers. In addition to the sponsorship opportunities listed on the website, there are many ways our community can lend support, e.g., restaurant discounts, food and beverage sponsorships and more. Learn more about this event and how your business can support. Contact Shelley Van Erp for more information.

Find more sport updates in Durham Region

Current News & Trends

🌎 Destination Ontario has released the most recent Ontario Tourism Health Check report highlighting recovery indicators, such as accommodation occupancy rates and border crossings. View the report.

✈️ According to the World Tourism Organization, 2023 was considered the return to travel with tourism reaching nearly 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Check out the top countries overseas visitors are travelling to Ontario from.

📱 Aira offers extra eyes for low vision travellers, and makes local and global transportation more accessible to people with reduced vision. Learn how this tool can be used in your community.

👩🏽‍💻 Gen Z predicts the future of content creation and what trends they anticipate will shape the digital content space in 2024. Stay ahead of the curve with these trend predictions.

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For unique trip ideas or to plan your perfect day, visit DurhamTourism.ca, or call 1-800-413-0017. If this information is required in an accessible format, contact Durham Tourism.