Three finalists each took home a $3,000 grant in Dragons Den-style event

Lambton Shores, ON – The Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton and their Sarnia-Lambton partners hosted a Dragon’s Den-style event at the Ipperwash Beach Club on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Six “Spark” Program finalists pitched their innovative tourism ideas for the region, with open and waterfront category entries. The top three were selected to each receive a $3,000 grant to start up or continue growing their tourism idea along with mentorship opportunities to ensure long term success.

The Sarnia-Lambton “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program is a partnership between the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Southwest Ontario Tourism, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Libro Credit Union, and the Sarnia-Lambton Workforce Development Board.

Sarnia-Lambton is one of 6 regions in the province to offer the program to date. The “Spark” Program’s goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas that will enhance current tourism offerings, create new, high-quality tourism experiences, addresses gaps in tourism products and services, motivate travel, longer stays and repeat visits, and increase year-round visitation and tourism spending.

The 2019-20 Sarnia-Lambton “Spark” Program winners are (left to right in the attached photo) : Megan O’Neil, 100th of a Marathon Event, Lambton Shores. Bo Tait, Throwcella Event, Sarnia. Kailyn Shepley & Anne Hazzard, Historical Story Walk, Port Lambton.

In addition to a source of funds and mentorship, winners will gain access to a network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

“We were excited to receive 21 applications from across Sarnia and Lambton County,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead for the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab. “We congratulate our pitch session winners and look forward to supporting them to help take their great new tourism ideas to the next level.”

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