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Durham Tourism

Connecting, engaging and informing Durham Tourism's valued stakeholders
Digital Business Transformation
Grow your business with free digital services in Durham Region!
As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has launched three programs to support businesses across Ontario: DMS shopHERE, DMS Ontario Grants and DMS Future Proof. These programs are available to Durham Region businesses that meet program requirements. 
Businesses that are not main street, and don't qualify for Digital Main Street programs, could qualify for Business Advisory Centre of Durham’s Digital Durham Starter Company program. Funded in part by the Region of Durham, businesses will have access to a free Digital Services Squad to help expand their web and digital presence, and provide training and mentoring. They'll also have the chance to apply for a $2,500 grant for their Digital Transformation Plan.
Interested businesses are encouraged to review programs and apply now!
COVID-19 represents an enormous challenge for all businesses in Durham Region. The Durham Region Economic Development task force is working together to provide resources, tools and business support programs for businesses. If you have questions about what programs your business qualifies for, please contact the Durham Region Economic Task Force.
Buzzing Bees Adventure Farm
Buzzing Bees Adventure Farm is a family friendly farm that just opened in Sunderland.

The farm is open for the fall season and features a nine-acre corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and fun activities like pedal karts, elastic band shooting range, pumpkin bowling, and more.

In addition to pumpkins, they sell their own honey and maple syrup-- and soon, honeyberries too.

Each year the family plans on adding three or four new activities for their guests to enjoy.
Update on Federal and Provincial
Support Announcements

The Federal Government has announced plans to provide additional support to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19.

This support includes:

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
  • FedDev Ontario Covid-19 Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF)
CBRE Hotels Canada Quarterly Update Q3 2020: Ongoing Impacts of
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to largely affect the accommodation industry. In Canada, the high hopes for national summer travel demand in the hotel industry were let down, with national occupancies reaching only 40 per cent in July and August.

The CBRE Q3 2020 Update measures the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s hotel industry through the summer, digs into the financial repercussions for operators, and presents a recovery outlook to 2025.
Destination Bike- Welcoming Cyclists in
Durham Region Webinar

Ontario By Bike would like to invite you to our upcoming ‘Destination Bike - Welcoming Cyclists in Durham Region Webinar’ scheduled on October 19.

Learn more about the development of cycle tourism in Durham Region plus the bicycle friendly business certification and the Ontario By Bike Network. Participating in the Network helps operators and destinations tap into the growing cycle tourism market, reaching the increasing number of visitors and local residents who are interested in cycling and cycle tourism across the region. Now more than ever, cycling and cycle tourism is increasingly popular.

This webinar is open to everyone, but is of particular interest to tourism professionals, including tour operators, accommodations, food services, attractions, breweries, wineries, business areas and cycling related businesses and organizations interested in the development of cycle tourism in Durham Region.

Join the 97 certified locations participating in the area, and the 1,500 province-wide, to:
  • Learn how welcoming cyclists can be good for your business and destination.
  • Learn about updates and insights on local cycling initiatives from guest speakers.
  • Become knowledgeable on new local and regional cycle touring routes, services and events.
  • Make the most of business opportunities serving this market. 
  • Connect with other tourism industry businesses and contacts.
  • Educate other front-line staff on cycle tourism by inviting them to the workshops.

Date and Time: Monday, October 19 at 1 to 2 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. Register now for the event on Monday, October 19 from 1 to 2 p.m.

The event will be held via Zoom. Access and login information will be provided in advance, as well as a phone number to call in.
Brought to you by our Destination Renewal Partner Durham Tourism/Durham Region, the webinar is open to all and free of charge.
Learn more about joining the network and the certification criteria, view your listing and/or participating locations, and learn more about cycling in Durham Region.
Durham College
field placement students available!
Students currently completing their diploma with the School of Hospitality & Horticultural Science at Durham College are available for field placement opportunities with industry employers.

Eager to build upon their knowledge, students will be completing work-integrated placements to further build their skill set. Host organizations provide valuable experiences and support towards the development of future employees.

Student placements can be either remote, in-person, or a combination of both at the employer host’s location, depending on employer host selected. Placements requirements range from 80 to 120 hours per student.

College faculty and placement officers are available to assist in shaping guided learning plans. Programs include Hospitality, Event Planning, Culinary, and Horticulture. More information on our programs can be found at www.durhamcollege.ca/HHS
Blue Heron Books Announces:
The Book Drunkard Literary Festival 2020 -
Virtual Edition
An international festival, done local. Events will take place virtually this year, from October 13 to November 30, providing an opportunity for those far and wide to join in. The Book Drunkard Festival promises topnotch literary talent, including two current Giller nominees, national and international award-winning authors, and a Canadian musical hero! From cultural icons to up-and-coming superstars, the line-up for this year’s festival will entertain, enlighten, provoke and inspire.
The festival brings 20 award-winning and best-selling authors, including literary greats like Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, Jesse Thistle, Matt Haig, Emma Donoghue, Annabel Lyon, Sue Miller, Peter Robinson and Bianca Marais. Food lovers will be inspired by Chef Anna Olson and the baking sister duo of Ashley Kosowan and Jenna Hutchinson. Lovers of music and story will be offered a cure for the COVID blues, Newfoundland-style, by singer and author Alan Doyle at a virtual Pub Event.

Other special offerings of the festival include Getting Drunk on Writing, a virtual six-week writing workshop with author Bianca Marais, as well as the specially crafted Book Drunkard Beer from The Second Wedge Brewery and “Kindred Spirits” chocolate bar by DesBarres.
Durham Region introduces free online
food ordering service
The Region of Durham, in partnership with Ritual, is pleased to announce support for local restaurants and food services in Durham Region through Ritual ONE—an accessible, online method of contactless food ordering.

This service allows local restaurants and food-based businesses, in need of a digital ordering solution, to provide customers with a method of placing orders for dine-in, or contactless pickup or delivery. Ritual ONE is an easy way for businesses to accept digital orders from their website and social media accounts. QR code menus and ordering are also available.

By signing up for Ritual ONE, Durham businesses will be able to:
  • Provide customers with a convenient way to place takeout or delivery orders digitally.
  • Showcase their restaurant’s brand through custom branding and menu photos.
  • Convert customers into regulars through Ritual’s automated marketing program.
  • Streamline business operations by reducing the number of in-store devices.
  • Utilize customer insights and feedback to improve the ordering experience.

Through this partnership, and with support from PayPal, Ritual will provide their commission-free digital ordering platform, Ritual ONE, to Durham businesses at no cost for the remainder of 2020.
Ontario Trillium Foundation’s
Resilient Communities Fund

On August 5, the Province of Ontario announced an investment of $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from COVID-19, and continue the delivery of vital programming for their communities.
The OTF's Resilient Communities Fund will provide grants of up to $150 thousand. Visit OTF’s website for eligibility requirements, to sign up for a Live Group Q&A session or to book a 15-minute support call with a Program Manager.

The next application deadline is December 2, 2020.
Central Counties Tourism logo
Personal Protective Equipment Reimbursement Program
Central Counties Tourism has launched a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Reimbursement program for private and not-for-profit businesses in the hospitality and recreation sector.

The program will provide matched funding of 50 per cent, up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant ($2,000 total expense).

Eligible expenses include plexiglass, sanitizing stations, masks, stickers, and other items that are needed to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 by keeping business employees and guests safe.
Celebrate WALKtober in Durham Region!

WALKtober is an annual celebration that encourages people to get out and start walking more during the month of October. The Region of Durham invites you to celebrate WALKtober by getting outdoors and exploring some of Durham’s unique landscapes, vibrant downtowns and scenic trails.

There are many resources and activities to help you explore your community by foot including:

  • Walking tours
  • Maps to help you discover trails in your community
  • A list of fall-themed activities for you and your family to discover together

Take the WALKtober challenge and let us know how you plan to celebrate!

To share your photos or to provide feedback, please email ActiveTransportation@durham.ca.
Durham Farm Connections Celebrate Agriculture Awards
The Celebrate Agriculture Awards recognizes excellence in Durham Region’s agriculture industry and within in our community. All nominees must reside and/or operate a business in Durham Region. Please nominate a worthy recipient in one of the following categories:

  • Family Farm Award
  • Spirit of Agriculture Award
  • Leadership Award

Nomination forms can be returned to Brenda Metcalf at 2574 Concession Road 7, Haydon L1C 5W1 or sent to info@durhamfarmconnections.ca by October 20.

Nominations require two letters of support as well as the completed form.  
Ontario supporting local festivals and events

Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences.

Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year's Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1.
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