Traveling College, Cornwall Museum, Paperboat Spark grant winners

By Nick Laurin
Traveling College, Cornwall Museum, Paperboat Spark grant winners

CORNWALL, Ontario – “Spark” Program has returned for its second year and has now paired with Akwesasne to create new local tourism industries.

The program was created by the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, a non-profit organization that searches for new ways to promote Ontario’s tourism. This was Akwesasne’s first year added to this event with Cornwall and SDG Counties. There are currently 13 regions holding this program, with Akwesasne, Cornwall and SDG Counties as one of the 13.

“Cornwall is proud to be part of such a collaborative program like Spark, which is aimed at bringing new tourism ideas to life in our region,” said Cornwall Mayor Glen Grant. “I am eager to see the 2021 winners develop their initiatives and add to our region’s standing as a great visitor destination.”

His sentiments resonated with Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict.

“Akwesasne, Cornwall & SDG Counties ‘Spark’ Program is a very exciting project that encourages creativity, inclusivity and participation from all of our communities. These mentorships and grant programs have the potential to create long-lasting business relationships that will of course benefit all individuals but most importantly, all communities involved. Congratulations to our two finalists, I look forward to seeing these visions come to life.”, said Benedict.

Individuals, businesses, and non profit organizations were asked to send their tourism ideas for consideration, where the three winners will each be given a $3,000 grant, a three-month tourism industry mentorship, as well as access to a support network of tourism innovator entrepreneurs, and leaders.

On December 7, the top six applicants were invited to present their new tourism ideas at a virtual Finalists’ Pitch Sessions for a judging panel of partner representatives and a tourism entrepreneur from outside the region, who selected three winning applicants – one each from Akwesasne, Cornwall and SDG Counties.

The 2021 Akwesasne, Cornwall & SDG Counties ‘Spark’ Program winners are:

  • Karonhianonha Franics, Native North American Travelling College – Visitor WOW Moments (Akwesasne)
  • Jean-Yes Lemoine, Cornwall Community Museum – Walking, Bicycle & Virtual Tours (Cornwall)
  • Evodie & Jonathan Smith, Paperboat Farms – Farm-to-Table Culinary Events (SDG Counties) 

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