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Tourism mentorship and grant program launched in northern B.C.

A new program aimed at sparking and supporting innovative tourism ideas in Northern BC was officially announced Tuesday by local and provincial tourism partners.

The Spark mentorships and grants program will match selected applicants from the region with a tourism mentor, provide a $3,000 grant and additional partner support to help take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development.

“Our region is filled with resourceful and innovative entrepreneurs and through this program we are aiming to inspire the development or enhancement of new travel experiences across northern B.C.,” said Clint Fraser, CEO, Northern BC Tourism Association. “This program is a great way to further strengthen our northern tourism sector and we can’t wait to see what new ideas come to market as a result of it.”

The goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits.

Applications are encouraged from entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations based in northern B.C. from October 18, 2022 to December 6, 2022. Following a review process, five finalists will be invited to a virtual pitch session where three winners will be selected.

The Spark program was first launched in Ontario in 2018 by the Tourism Innovation Lab, and has now expanded to several regions across British Columbia.

The northern B.C. Spark program is presented by Destination British Columbia in collaboration with the Northern BC Tourism Association, Tourism Prince George, Tourism Prince Rupert, Tourism Terrace, Tourism Smithers, Tourism Dawson Creek, the Community Futures offices of Northern BC, and the Tourism Innovation Lab.

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