Program Offers Support to 2SLGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs and Organizations to “Spark” New Tourism Ideas in Southern Ontario

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) and the Tourism Innovation Lab are proud to announce the launch of a 2SLGBTQ+ “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program in Southern Ontario.

The organizations are looking to spark new 2SLGBTQ+ led tourism ideas that will enhance Southern Ontario’s current tourism offerings, create high-quality tourism experiences, address gaps in tourism products and services, motivate longer stays and repeat visits, and increase year-round visits and tourism spending. Through this work, they aspire to make the tourism sector more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

The 2SLGBTQ+ “Spark” Program will provide selected applicants with mentorship, $5,000 in services, and a CGLCC support package valued at over $1,500 to help them get started with their new tourism ideas.

“The CGLCC is committed to ensuring the Canadian economy is inclusive and accessible for 2SLGBTQ+ business owners. We are beyond excited to be working with the Tourism Innovation Lab on this “Spark” Program for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in Southern Ontario; it aligns closely with our mission of championing 2SLGBTQ+ businesses in Canada. Additionally, we are happy to be contributing a support package for the three successful applicants, which includes support through our Rainbow Registered 2SLGBTQ+ safe space accreditation program, our 2SLGBTQ+ diversity & inclusion training offerings, and more resources aimed at helping the winning ideas flourish,” shared Darrell Schuurman, CEO and Co-Founder, CGLCC.

“The Tourism Innovation Lab has been working for the past 4 years to inspire and support new tourism ideas and innovators, and helping to make the sector more accessible, diverse and sustainable. We are thrilled to be launching a program in collaboration with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce focused on the 2SLGBTQ+ community” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab.

“Supporting people from marginalized communities speaks to the CGLCC and Tourism Innovation Lab’s shared commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. The fact is that many marginalized folx don’t have the same access to capital, networks or resources to launch their ideas successfully. Initiatives like the 2SLGBTQ+ “Spark” Program can help” said Annemarie Shrouder, 2SLGBTQ+-identified entrepreneur and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisor.

Applications will be accepted from October 17th to November 17th, 2022 from self-identified 2SLGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, 2SLGBTQ+ majority owned & operated small businesses, and 2SLGBTQ+ focused non-profit organizations and community groups Following a juried review process, finalists will be invited to a Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.

Organizers are hosting two Info Sessions for prospective applicants:
Info Session #1: October 19 @ 5:00-5:45pm – Registration Link
Info Session #2: November 8 @ 11:30am-12:15pm – Registration Link

For more information on the 2SLGBTQ+ “Spark” Program visit


Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is a national non-profit organization representing Canada’s 100,000+ 2SLGBTQ+-owned businesses. Its goal is to create positive social change by economically empowering the 2SLGBTQ+ community through entrepreneurship. CGLCC works to create a truly inclusive economy where all 2SLGBTQ+ businesses and entrepreneurs have access and the opportunity to actively participate.

CGLCC does that through a network of regional 2SLGBTQ+ Chambers of Commerce and business organizations that support the delivery of national programming to allow Canadian 2SLGBTQ+ businesses to start, to grow, and to succeed.

Facebook: @theCGLCC
Instagram: @thecglcc
Twitter: @theCGLCC

Tourism Innovation Lab
The Tourism Innovation Lab is a non-profit initiative created to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships, to cultivate and propel collaborations between the tourism and tech sectors, and to build a community of tourism innovators, idea makers and entrepreneurs in Canada. First launched in 2018, the Lab and its “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program are expanding to new regions in British Columbia and Ontario. The Tourism Innovation Lab is a program of Hackforge and is based at the University of Windsor-EPICentre.

Facebook: @TourismInnovationCanada
Instagram: @TourismInnovationCanada
Twitter: @TourInnovation

SOURCE Tourism Innovation Lab

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