Earlier this spring, Destination Canada announced the launch of a new, three-year International Convention Attraction Fund (ICAF) in a strategic move to bolster Canada’s global competitiveness in attracting major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada. 

The ICAF is a major part of an overall $50 million investment from the 2023 Federal Budget and is a key priority of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy (FTGS).

"Hosting more international events is a central part of our work to help Canadian tourism reach its full potential," said The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism. "That’s why, as part of the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, Destination Canada is making historic investments to attract more conferences and conventions. These events showcase the best of Canada, extend our tourism season, and attract business people – who typically spend twice as much as leisure travellers."

The ICAF will provide financial commitments for bids on major international conventions. Destination Canada's financial support and backing will greatly improve each applicant’s chances of winning their respective bids. The awarded financial commitment, eligible up to $1 million CAD, is determined by a pre-established scoring system based on select criteria, demonstrating the value of each bidding opportunity. Using a conservative estimate, ICAF is expected to produce around $3.5 for every dollar invested, generating at least $174M for the Canadian economy.

“The ICAF is a game changer for Kelowna," says Tourism Kelowna Director of Business Development Nikki Robinson. "By leveraging this fund, we can showcase our vibrant city to the world, attract top-tier international events, and, in turn, boost our local economy.”

In 2023, Tourism Kelowna's Business Development team exceeded its targets for meetings, conferences, sports, and major events, securing 174 leads and more than 49,000 future room nights, for a combined estimated economic impact of over $34M.

More information about the ICAF is available on Destination Canada's website


Some of the content above was sourced from Destination Canada's press release; click here to view the full release.