Tourism Events Program
Updates for Funding Recipients and Applicants during COVID-19
Due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tourism Events Program application window is closed. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport intends to reopen the program in Fall 2021, should Provincial Health Orders restricting non-essential travel and gatherings be eased.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of people in B.C. We recognize the immense and unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the province’s tourism sector, including impacts to funded Tourism Events Program projects.
We are closely monitoring the situation and are working to adjust our processes and policies in response to the rapidly evolving situation. We appreciate your patience during this challenging time.
The following FAQ is intended for TEP recipients and applicants whose funded projects are or may be impacted by COVID-19.
Tourism is one of the world’s most competitive industries and a vital component of a strong, sustainable economy in British Columbia. Recognizing the importance of this industry, the Tourism Events Program (TEP) was created to help events increase the volume of visitors to British Columbia, broaden global recognition of the province, and build our reputation as an internationally renowned destination. By providing supplemental funding for marketing, promotional, advertising, and broadcast activities, the TEP helps events gain exposure and have a greater impact on the province.
Important note to Applicants: Please review all the information on this page before filling out the application form. This will help in submitting the strongest application possible.
All applicants are required to demonstrate how the event meets the following criteria:
- The event must take place in B.C.
- The event must be confirmed (i.e. funding for an event bid is not eligible).
- The event should be able to demonstrate financial viability (i.e. the majority of operational funding is confirmed).
- The event must be a tourism event (i.e. the event draws tourists specifically for the event, and is not primarily community focused).
- The event must be a sporting competition, arts, cultural celebration, or festival.
- Organizers must be able to apply at least the full minimum amount of TEP funding ($10,000) to eligible activities.
- Each event requires a separate application form and must be submitted during the appropriate intake window.
Given the volume of requests and limited funding, the following criteria are also considered:
- International and national profile: The event raises awareness, nationally and internationally, of British Columbia’s tourism brands by having provincial, national and/or international broadcasting or other media reach;
- Tourism value: The event motivates Canadians and people from around the world to travel to British Columbia by drawing a large number of out-of-town visitors in relation to the size of the host community;
- Economic impact: The event offers significant economic impact relative to the size of the host community(ies);
- Regional benefits: The event generates tourism and economic benefits for the surrounding region beyond the host community, takes place in multiple communities, and/ or takes place in a rural or remote community.
Events That Are Not Eligible
Events may not be primarily commercial or academic in nature (e.g. consumer shows, symposia, conventions, meetings and conferences, seminars and clinics, educational competitions, etc.); however, ancillary events/festivals created to coincide with these examples may be eligible. Attractions, shows, tours, or projects held over an extended period of time are also not eligible for funding.
Use of Funds
Funding provided through the TEP must be used to broaden the reach and impact of the event through marketing and communications, which may include: broadcasts, promotional materials, social media, advertisements, etc. See Frequently Asked Questions for examples of eligible and ineligible activities.
Funding limits are determined based on the size of the event budget. The event budget is considered the sum of total operating costs/expenses related to the event, and should not include the expenses that would be covered with TEP funding. The operating costs described must be for the event itself and not the operating expenses of the applicant organization.
These limits are the maximum amount an event can apply for; however, the applicant must ensure the funding amount requested is appropriate for the event (generally considered to be 10% of the overall budget or less). Funding may only be applied to activities deemed eligible for TEP funds. The minimum funding request is $10,000 for all events.
Applicants may apply within the following limits:
Event Budget up to $500,000
$10,000 to $35,000
Event Budget up to $1.5 million
up to $100,000
Event Budget of $1.5 million or greater
up to $175,000
Very Large Event
Event Budget of $2.5 million or greater
up to $250,000
Note: Events are eligible for funding for a maximum of three years and must reapply each year. An event that has reached the three-year maximum may reapply after a one-year waiting period. Exceptions to the waiting period may be considered.
Applying for the Tourism Events Program
Due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application window is closed. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport intends to reopen the program in Fall 2021 should Provincial Health Orders restricting non-essential travel and gatherings be eased.
TEP program policies and materials are subject to change. For those who are interested in applying, please check our website closer to the application intake for program guidelines and updates.
Information for Successful Applicants:
Successful applicants will have the following responsibilities:
- The legal entity that submitted the application will enter into a contract with the Province of British Columbia, outlining the use of funds and reporting requirements. Recipients are required to have a signed contract and completed insurance documentation in place prior to the start of the event.
- Funding recipients will be required to acknowledge Provincial support.
- Funding recipients must ensure a coordinated and effective use of program funds.
- Funding recipients are required to obtain any trail, road, civic or other permits required prior to funds being issued. This is solely the responsibility of the applicant.
- Funding recipients will have to provide a final event report using the template provided in the contract document.
See Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Inquiries and applications should be sent to TourismEventsProgram@gov.bc.ca