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Tourism partnership funding intake is now open

Intake is now open for Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9) partnership funding.

RTO 9’s Partnership Fund initiative is designed to introduce new tourism products and build on existing tourism products that enhance the region’s diversity of tourism attractions. Applications for the first intake period will be for projects beginning April 1, 2024 to September 6, 2024.

Important to note:

  • Indigenous operators must be 51% or more Indigenous owned and controlled and in lieu of a CRA Business Number (BN), must be able to provide a Certificate of Indian Status Registry Number or a Métis Registry Number.
  • A letter of support from your Destination Marketing Organization is mandatory (Brockville Tourism staff are happy to provide letters of support to any local organization looking to apply for funding)
  • All partner contributions must be made electronically, via either Electronic Funds Transfer or e-transfer.
  • There is one general application. Applications are submitted through an online form that can be accessed again from the same device.

There are 3 categories to apply under:

  1. New Events
  2. Development of Indigenous Tourism Product
  3. Signage

The opportunity to apply for partnership funding will close on March 3rd, 2024.


Helpful information about the partnership funding:

Annual Business Survey Now Open

Attention Businesses! Your input is requested for the 2024 Leeds Grenville Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes Business Survey

Please take the time to complete this short survey. Your input is critical in gaining a stronger understanding of how our local economy is doing and what support you need today and in the future.

The survey will be open until March 10, 2024 at 11:59 pm

Click here to take the survey

Opportunity for local Food and Beverage Processing businesses to participate in national trade shows

Through membership in Ontario East’s Regional Marketing Committee, our Economic Development Department has the opportunity for our local Food and Beverage Processing businesses to participate in a couple of upcoming national trade shows at no charge. Local Economic Development Organization’s recognize that participation in trade shows of this size can be out of reach, financially, for many businesses.

Show Opportunities:

  • Restaurants Canada: Monday April 8th to Wednesday April 10th
  • SIAL Canada: Wednesday May 15th to Friday May 17th

Restaurants Canada, the country’s largest foodservice trade event, is scheduled for Monday, April 8th through Wednesday, April 10th, 2024. The Show will be held at the Enercare Centre in Toronto.

SIAL Canada is a large international tradeshow focused on the food business from packaged products to new technology, and is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15th through Friday, May 17th, 2024. The Show will be held at the Palais des Congres in Montreal.

Please note, for the SIAL 2024 Show in Montreal only, we are unable to accept applications from vendors offering alcohol. The requirements for SAQ approval to serve alcohol not produced in Quebec require a long lead time which we are unable to meet.

Please complete your application(s) as soon as possible if you are interested in joining us for either or both shows. Applications will only be accepted online until Monday, February 5th for both shows. Successful applicants for each show will be notified the week of February 26th, 2024.

 Eligibility Requirements (for both shows):

  1. Must be a business operating in Eastern Ontario
  2. Must have a product that is ready to market and sell to grocery, retailers or restaurants
  3. Must be prepared to accommodate increased production and sales

Participation Requirements and Guidelines (for both shows):

  1. Commit to a minimum of one full day (8+ hours) at the Ontario East trade show booth.
  2. Send 2 individuals to work at your display.
  3. Participation in the Ontario East Tradeshow booth includes a 4 foot draped table and electricity.
  4. Ontario East will provide signage for all participating companies. Additional signage will not be permitted.
  5. Participant travel, accommodations, meals, marketing materials, product samples are the responsibility of each company.

For the Restaurants Canada 2024 apply here:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/application-for-2024-restaurants-canada-show-ontario-east-booth-registration-769153658297

  • This application is password protected. When requested, enter the password, RCShow2024 to apply for participation in the Ontario East booth at Restaurants Canada 2024.

For the SIAL Canada 2024 apply here:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/application-for-2024-sial-canada-show-ontario-east-booth-registration-769176526697

  • This application is password-protected. When requested, enter the password, SIALShow2024 to apply for participation in the Ontario East booth at SIAL Canada 2024.

Shop Where Your Heart Is – back for its third year

This popular program rewards you for supporting local businesses this holiday season with chances to win weekly prizes. The more stores you support, the more chances you have to win!

In partnership with the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Brockville, the program will be running all December long, starting on November 17 with the “Miracle on King Street” event in Downtown Brockville, and ending on January 2 with the wrap up of the River of Lights.

How does it work?

The program is simple:

  1. Shop at local businesses
  2. Collect your receipts
  3. Turn your receipts in at the Chamber office or enter your receipt info from home using our online submission tool.

3 receipts = 1 ballot towards weekly prizes, and entries that total over $250 of receipts will also be entered into a VIP grand prize draw for $500 in Downtown Brockville gift cards to spend how you wish in the new year.

Turn in your envelope filled with at least 3 receipts (photocopies accepted). The drop-off box for completed envelopes will be available 24/7 just outside of the Chamber office at 3 Market Street West (find the drop box on the side entrance by the stairs).

Eligible purchases include retail, restaurant, experiences, and paid accommodations during the program period (November 17-January 2). Ineligible purchases include essential purchases (groceries, gas, pharmacy), wine/beer/liquor, cannabis, tobacco and vape, and lottery purchases.

Earn extra entries with the River of Lights

“Shop Where Your Heart Is” and the “River of Lights” have teamed up for more chances to win! Participating restaurants and cafes will be distributing a branded coffee sleeve for hot beverages or a paper coaster to diners that offer their customers an extra way to enter the prize draws. 

New this year, dine-in restaurants that use paper coasters can offer their customers a branded paper coaster for their customers that serves as an extra ballot.


For more information, please visit the main Shop Where Your Heart Is page

Make the most of your visit to Brockville’s River of Lights

Will you be coming to Brockville to see the River of Lights this holiday season? In addition to the ‘who, what, and where’ of our event, we have put together a Top 10 round up of how to make the most of your visit to Brockville for the River of Lights presented by Canarm.

We know you have a number of choices of light shows to check out this holiday season, so why should you choose to come to the River of Lights? Our technicians spend hours and hours programming each song in the show to choreograph the lights to sync up to the music, and don’t think that there is anything quite like it anywhere nearby.

  1. Sharing is Caring: turn your car into a viewing theatre

Invite friends or family to come with you and set your car up for a comfy viewing experience by bringing pillows, blankets, and snacks. Pick up snacks and hot drinks on the way and settle in to enjoy the show.

Drive by or stay awhile? Some people prefer to park and watch the show, while others do laps of Blockhouse Island, catching the show from every angle. If you choose to drive around, please be careful of other cars and pedestrians. While the show is meant to be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, some people do get out to walk around, so please keep a sharp eye out for them.

Coming on opening night? Don’t forget that the Rotary Santa Claus Parade is happening on the same night, so access to the River of Lights event ground will be restricted due to road closures affecting King Street and nearby roads. Plan to go to the parade, and then make your way down to the show after the parade has passed you by. Not coming to the parade? The parade wraps up at around 7:30pm, so plan to come to the River of Lights after that.

  1. Plan your day in the city

The full light and sound show starts at 6pm, after it is dark enough for the lights to really pop. But that doesn’t mean that you should plan to come just for the evening. Why not plan a day of it and get some of your holiday shopping done while you are here? Brockville has lots of gift shops, clothing and shoe stores, specialty shops, and retailers where you can easily make a day, or weekend out of your visit and really get to know the area (and get your shopping done!).

Collect 3 receipts from Brockville shops during your visit and turn them in to the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce office at 3 Market Street West (it’s on your way to the River of Lights) for a chance to win one of our weekly “Shop Where Your Heart Is” prize draws. If you’d prefer, you can also enter your purchase information into our online submission tool.

Shopping not your thing? Check out one (or more) of our local attractions and museums including escape rooms, the Aquatarium, indoor paintball, a show at the Brockville Arts Centre, the Brockville Museum, or a tour of Fulford Place historic site. Eligible receipts for the “Shop Where Your Heart Is” program also include experiences, accommodation, retail, and restaurant purchases, so hang onto those receipts too!

  1. Go for dinner first, or pick up a hot drink and snacks to enjoy in your car

The show lasts about 40 minutes before it loops around to start repeating tracks. Don’t cut your visit short with hunger pains: plan ahead and go for dinner at one of the nearby downtown restaurants, or pick something up from one of our many restaurants to enjoy in your car on site.

“Warm Up to Win” with the River of Lights partnership with Shop Where Your Heart Is: pick up a hot drink to go from one of our restaurant and café partners and make sure to ask for the River of Lights coffee sleeve for your cup. Or keep an eye out at dinner for our branded drink coaster from one of our participating restaurants and fill out your contact details.

The coffee sleeve and paper coasters each serve as a bonus ballot in the weekly Shop Where Your Heart Is prize draws, so fill out your contact info and drop it off at the Chamber office. An after-hours mail slot is available outside of their office on Market Street West (only a block from the River of Lights) so you can drop it off any time.

  1. Make sure you know how to turn your headlights off

Load up with blankets, hot drinks, snacks, and warm clothing. Similar to a drive-in movie theatre, we ask that if you park in a parking space to watch the show that you turn off your headlights so that you are not affecting viewers on the other side of the show area. Depending on your car, you may just be able to put your parking brake on to turn your headlights off, but in some vehicles you will have to turn them off manually, or turn your car off altogether. Do some testing before hand so you know what works for you. Idling in your car is not very environmentally friendly, so we encourage you to opt to turn your car (and therefore heat) off during the show and bundle up in blankets instead.

  1. Take photos and videos

We love to see what you come up with, please share them with us with #RiverofLightsBrockville so we can join in the fun. A photo feature is set up near the harbour building where you can stand with the light show framed in the background between the two archways to take your photo. This photo arch is also set up so that you don’t have to cut in front of vehicle traffic to take a picture. We appreciate people staying off of the show grounds so that no one gets hurt or damages any of the equipment. (Public washrooms next to the photo arch are also open daily until 9pm).

Photo tip: Between 5pm and 6pm each night the lights softly change from one colour to the next and play without strobing lights or music. For serious photogs, you can get more predictable results (and colours) from longer exposure times during this hour than once the full show starts. You can also swing up to King Street where the Edison lights connecting lamp posts lend a warm glow to the downtown streetscape.

  1. Check out the track list

Have a favourite pop song or holiday tune you love? Check out our playlist to see if your favourite song is on it, there’s nothing worse than driving away just as your favourite tune comes on. (It can also be used after the fact to help you fill in the blanks in case you heard a song you didn’t recognize).

Prefer to be surprised? Skip to the next section!

  • All I want for Xmas (Mariah Carey)
  • Bring me love (John Legend)
  • Carol of the Bells (Lindsey Stirling)
  • Frosty The Snow Man (Michael Bublé)
  • Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)
  • Let It Go (Frozen, Elsa)
  • Little Drummer Boy (Lonestar)
  • Miracle of Light (8th Day)
  • Mistletoe (Bieber)
  • No Roots (Alice Merton)
  • Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt)
  • Thunder (Imagine Dragons)
  • We three gentlemen (L.Sterling)
  • Xmas every day (Simple Plan)
  • Merry Christmas (Ed Sheeran & Elton John)
  • Merry Christmas Everybody (Slade)
  • You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) – This one was voted in by attendees at last year’s show!
  1. Hop on the AQ Holiday Express

This one is a fan favourite for anyone with kiddos. The Aquatarium’s soft-tired train, decked out in lights and for the holidays and renamed the “Aquatarium Holiday Express” takes you on a train ride around the show grounds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from December 1 to 17. At $10/person this is a unique take on the show, and kids in particular are big fans (adults can ride too!). Bundle up if you go this route, as it can be chilly and windy on Blockhouse Island in the winter and train cars are open to the elements. Hot chocolate is available on site. The train loads near the customs building on Blockhouse Island. Check the Aquatarium’s social media in advance, as they cannot run in all weather situations, and you don’t want to have disappointed children on your hands!

  1. Come by early (or late) for a sensory-friendly experience

Each night, between 5pm and 6pm, and again between 10pm and 11pm, the lights are turned on, but the full light and music show is not in full force. The trees and features are lit up with soft lights that slowly change from one colour to the next. This is a more peaceful experience that is more accessible to anyone with sensory concerns who don’t enjoy (or can’t be around) flashing lights and music. (Plus, see #5 on why this is a great time to take photos!)

  1. Book an overnight stay

There are a few other light shows in the area, including Clow’s Christmas Trail, so you may need more than one night to see all of the lights that can be found in this area. Why not book an overnight stay and try them all? If you are from Brockville, invite your friends or family for a visit and make it a fun weekend in Brockville. Overnight stays in Brockville also count as eligible entries towards Shop Where Your Heart Is prizes! Save your receipts and turn them in to the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce.

Visit brockvilletourism.com for more information about other local events and light displays, along with where to stay in the city.

  1. Vote for a song to be added to next year’s show!

We know you’ll be back next year, so make sure to complete our event feedback survey where you can tell us a bit more about your experience, and where you will have the opportunity to vote for a song to add to next year’s production. This year we added “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” to the line up based on last year’s votes, and added new songs to put to the vote based on the suggestions in the comments.


If this is your first time coming to the River of Lights, here is some important event information so that you know where to go, and when.

What is it?

The River of Lights is a holiday light show choreographed to your favourite pop songs and holiday tunes. Mini lights and flood lights, along with some unique lighting features, are synced to music making this event an annual favourite. You can drive in a loop around the show grounds, or park to watch from your car. Tune your car radio to our show’s frequency (look for signs on site) to enjoy the musical component of the show.

Where is it?

The light show takes over Blockhouse Island Parkway, a peninsula on the waterfront in Brockville and a local favourite location to ship watch and enjoy the river. During the month of December, the site is transformed by wrapping trees with thousands of lights for your enjoyment. Access the site from Water Street and drive straight towards the river. Parking spaces are available around the perimeter of the site, but if all of the spaces are taken, you can loop around the site and see the show from all angles. Typically there are sufficient parking spaces.

When is it?

The shows runs every night all December long. The full show choreographed to music starts at 6pm and runs on a loop until 10pm. The first and final hours (between 5pm-6pm, and 10-11pm) feature a softer light show without the music, more suitable for someone with sensory concerns or people who like a calmer experience.

Opening night is Saturday November 25th following the Santa Claus Parade on nearby King Street, and the last night is January 7th. (Please note that the show has been extended from the originally published date of January 2nd until the 7th).

How much does it cost?

The event is free! We have partnered with a number of local cafes and restaurants on our Shop Where Your Heart Is program and we encourage you to visit a local restaurant, or do some local shopping to support our local economy in lieu of paying admission.

Funding provided by the Government of Ontario.

Shop Where Your Heart Is – opportunity for businesses to participate

The Shop Where Your Heart Is program is back for the third year in a row. This program rewards shoppers for thinking “local first” when they do their holiday shopping with chances to win prizes.

This year we will be running the program all December long, starting on November 17 with the “Miracle on King Street” event in Downtown Brockville, and ending on January 2 with the wrap up of the River of Lights.

Why should your business take part?

We all win when more people do a larger percentage of their holiday (and personal) shopping locally rather than turning to online retailers or going out of the city. This may be all the incentive someone needs to check a local store first before going elsewhere. The more you promote the program, the more your neighbours will promote the program, the more people will be talking about the program, and the more people will want to take part.

There is no cost to your business to participate in any component of the program.

Restaurant Opportunity:

“Shop Where Your Heart Is” and the “River of Lights” have teamed up for more chances to win! Restaurants and cafes that offer hot beverages to-go can add a River of Lights hot beverage sleeve to their drinks that give their customers an extra ballot towards weekly prizes.

New this year, dine-in restaurants that use paper coasters can offer their customers a branded paper coaster for their customers that serves as an extra ballot.

There is no cost to your business to participate in any component of the program.

Need more?

We have added an extra incentive for businesses this time around – after we have collected all of the receipts from participating shoppers, the business with the most receipts turned in (by volume, not by total value) will receive a $250 digital marketing credit with Henderson Digital Marketing to use how they wish in the new year.  Additionally, the restaurant or cafe who has the most coffee sleeves or paper coasters turned in will also receive a $250 digital marketing credit with Henderson Digital Marketing.

All you have to do is tell your customers to participate!

What should you do next?

Let us know that you would like to participate! If you would like a quantity of the coffee sleeves or coasters let us know which one you would like and we will add you to our list of participating restaurants and provide you with materials before the program launches. Please select either the drink sleeves OR the coasters so that we can more efficiently allocate materials.

We will provide you with the envelopes to give out to your customers when they make a purchase in your store. Shoppers can also pick up additional envelopes from the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce office, Downtown Brockville office, and City Hall. The drop-off box for envelopes will be available 24/7 just outside of the Chamber office 3 Market Street West.

Contact us to get started.

Brockville Life healthcare campaign begins

City of Brockville, Brockville General Hospital, and Employment and Education Centre invites healthcare professionals to make the most of life.

The City of Brockville, Brockville General Hospital, and Employment and Education Centre unveiled a new recruitment campaign designed to attract much-needed healthcare professionals to the area. Together we are calling on healthcare professionals to “imagine life with a 5-minute commute.”

Healthcare recruitment is a challenge for smaller cities. Despite their excellent amenities, picturesque locations, and outstanding quality of life, cities like Brockville are often overlooked.

Brockville is inviting healthcare professionals to imagine life outside of the big city: exceptional work opportunities with a short commute, limitless activities with more time to enjoy them, and an unrivaled lifestyle that’s still affordable. Brockville’s VIA Rail station connects to Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal, for quick access to larger cities, and Kingston is just one hour away. With two border crossings located nearby, travel to the USA is also simple.

Any health professional interested in moving to Brockville is connected with a personal concierge who helps find work for partners and spouses, schools and activities for children, and gets newcomers dialed into the local community faster.

Monique Sauvé, Recruitment and Retention Specialist at Brockville General Hospital, relocated from the busy Niagara region three years ago. “The Brockville General Hospital is an exceptional community hospital, we are all committed to the same goal, providing excellence in patient-centered care,” she says. “Living in Brockville has afforded me the opportunity to really embrace the outdoor lifestyle with my family, which I love.”

The campaign features twelve stories from people living and working in Brockville including healthcare professionals. The stories, along with key information about relocating to Brockville, can be viewed at imagine.brockville.life

“We’re excited to welcome people to Brockville,” says Lesley White, Manager of Business Engagement & Partnerships at the City of Brockville. “We have a team in place to make relocation as easy as possible and help with whatever people need to feel at home.”

If you or someone you know is interested in relocating to Brockville, visit imagine.brockville.life to learn more.

Are you hiring?

Make sure your positions are posted!

The City of Brockville is working collaboratively with Brockville General Hospital and the Employment and Education Centre on a recruitment campaign that will be targeting larger city centres. While the main focus of the campaign is on health care and hospital staffing, we have the opportunity to maximize the potential of the campaign and ensure that anyone who is interested in relocating to Brockville can see the available job opportunities.

We will be funneling inquiries about career opportunities and current open positions to the Employment and Education Centre’s job board and their team, and we want to make sure that all local businesses can benefit from this opportunity.

Any time your business has an opening, list it on the Employment and Education Centre’s job board so that interested candidates know that you are hiring. This may be spouses of people interested in coming to work at the hospital or could be others who see our campaign materials.

This is a free service offered by the Employment and Education Centre and is open to all local businesses, large or small. Please get in touch with Teanne to get started:

Teanne Larocque
Business Services Manager, Employment + Education Centre
Email: teanne@eecentre.com |Telephone: 613-498-2111 ext. 365 | Cell: 613-803-9771
www.eecentre.com/job-board/

For a preview of our upcoming campaign, check out the video below:

Participate in Welcoming Week September 8-17

Welcoming Week is taking place across the country from September 8-17, 2023 and is an opportunity to reflect our local community and welcome newcomers to the city who have made Brockville their home. Welcoming Week is an annual event across the country lead by Immigration and Citizenship Canada, and is an opportunity to bring together new and long time residents to build strong connections. It affirms the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.

During Welcoming Week, we invite all Brockvillians to join this movement of communities, nationwide and worldwide, by renewing our commitment to our core values and taking action in the spirit of welcoming. By working together, we can achieve greater prosperity and make Brockville the kind of place where diverse people from around the world feel valued and want to put down roots. Regardless of where we are born or what we look like, we are all Brockvillians, united in our efforts to build a stronger Brockville. By recognizing the contributions that we all make to create a vibrant culture and growing economy, we make our community more prosperous and more inclusive to all who call it home.

Do you know any newcomers in your neighbourhood, community groups, or businesses you frequent? Take the opportunity this week to make them feel welcome and an that they are an integral part of our community.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Share information about our community and local services
  • Introduce newcomers to others with common interests to help build networks
  • Check out these Recommended Reading lists from the Brockville Public Library: They have curated a recommended reading list for kids and a recommended reading list for adults to celebrate Welcoming Week
  • Explore the Brockville Museum’s award winning Travel Trunk exhibit: Unpack the role immigration has played in Brockville’s development and discover the stories of local newcomers all while exploring your own family’s journey to Brockville. This hands-on and interactive exhibit is geared towards families with children age 8-12.
  • Get to know some faces in our community through the “We Are Neighbours” campaign by the St. Lawrence Rideau Immigration Partnership. Over 30 different nationalities have participated in the campaign to date!
  • Host a potluck
  • Share a favourite Canadian pastime
  • Invite a newcomer to a local event
  • Download and print this “I am a Welcomer” poster and post it on your desk at work or in the window of your home from September 8-17

As part of Welcoming Week, it’s important to acknowledge that the history of Canada began far earlier than the European colonization and settlement, and to understand the history of the Indigenous Peoples that are living on this land and have been since time immemorial, long before immigrants came from all around the world.


Our Welcoming Week Partners:

Tourism Wayfinding Signs

You may have noticed that a number of new signs have been installed around the city in the last few weeks. These signs make a significant step towards beautifying our streets and will allow us to remove a number of individual attraction signs that are faded and outdated and that visually ‘clutter up’ our streets. These signs are from part of a set of approved designs that adhere to our Tourism Wayfinding Sign Policy and represent the highest priority items from our signage plan.

What is Wayfinding?

“Wayfinding” is a term used to describe the process of finding a destination in the build environment. Signs play an active role in this process by providing the primary form of communication.

Goals for our signage:

  • To create a cohesive sign family that is unique and recognizable, that will enhance the community, become a source of pride, and prompt visitors to stay awhile.
  • To highlight and promote key attractions.
  • To promote safe, enjoyable experiences.
  • To celebrate historic, natural, and cultural elements.
  • To provide clear safe navigation.
  • Focus on positive messaging.
  • Reduce the overuse of individual signs.
  • To maximize value of investment through standardized design, use of long-lasting materials, and careful consideration for fabrication, installation, maintenance, and life cycle.

Design Elements:

  • The signs make use of the official “Brockville City of the 1000 Islands” wordmark and tagline configuration throughout the wayfinding system.
  • Use of white text of a blue background ties our signs visually to the Provincial tourism wayfinding signs, creating a visual consistency that helps the user recognize these signs as being directional signs to area attractions.
  • Waves/water elements to signify the importance of the river (and signal to visitors stopping in off of the 401 that we are a waterfront community).
  • Balance of heritage with modern elements or colours. Signs within the waterfront area surrounding the downtown make use of a “heritage area” footer rather than the “City of the 1000 Islands” footer used throughout the rest of the City.
  • Use of a unique cut out shape other than a rectangle to easily identify and connect the signs.

We hope that our visitors find them effective and that our locals like the style and character that they bring to our streets.

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