CEDC MAT Fund provides the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy with over $40,000 to promote local food sector

August 26, 2021 – The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and Tourism Thunder Bay are pleased to support the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy with over $40,000 to boost their local #tbayInSeason marketing campaign. The project is being implemented under the EcoSuperior Environmental Programs umbrella and will capitalize on the strength of Thunder Bay’s local agri-food and food-service sectors.

The 2017 Food and Agriculture Market Study indicated that improving the purchase of local foods hinged upon increased consumer knowledge of what is grown locally and where these purchases can be made. As a part ofThe #tbayInSeason campaign a website was created to help profile local producers, processors, retailers, and restaurants. The project also includes the creation of professional chef videos, a print magazine, and extensive social media marketing efforts to promote Thunder Bay’s unique culinary scene.

“#tbayInSeason is an exciting local food marketing initiative that makes it easier than ever for residents and visitors to find and enjoy local foods” said Karen Kerk, Coordinator of the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy. “The tbayInSeason.ca website features over 80 vendor listings within our region, videos of local chefs making simple recipes with local ingredients, interviews with producers, virtual farm tours, and more.”

“We’re so excited to showcase the amazing food scene in Thunder Bay, and are grateful for the support of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and Tourism Thunder Bay through the CEDC Municipal Accommodation Tax Funding Program. This funding has made it possible to offer our yearlong food marketing initiative. We hope that residents and visitors will get out there and dive into the array of culinary delights available in our area.”

The CEDC MAT Fund provides financial support to projects with the capacity to attract more visitors to Thunder Bay, increase visitor spending, and generate room nights at local accommodations. The CEDC MAT is collected on short-term stays at local hotels, motels, and other accommodation providers at the rate of 4%.

The CEDC and Tourism Thunder Bay administer 50% of the total collected tax revenues in support of the continued growth of tourism focused events and products. Applicants are encouraged to leverage partnerships and other financial resources in order to maximize the growth of Thunder Bay’s tourism economy. With additional funding support for the $145,000 project coming from OMAFRA, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, and Digital Main Street, the project demonstrated a strong multi-partner capacity.

“Every visitor eats and many seek out the local taste of a place. Thunder Bay’s impressive culinary scene combined with our expanding local food producing creates a unique culinary tourism signature that contributes to a stronger destination. Partnerships like this one with EcoSuperior help us all work better together toward building and promoting that strong culinary signature” said Paul Pepe, Manager of Tourism Thunder Bay.

The #tbayInSeason website originally launched in February of this year and released its first formal video profiling local chef Niko Mantis. The video marketing campaign will produce new videos on a monthly basis until February of 2022.

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