Here are some opportunities for eligible businesses to take advantage of in the new year for support, expertise, and to learn new skills.


Indigenous Tourism BC 'Spark' Program

The Indigenous Tourism BC “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program launched in November, with the goal to “spark” new Indigenous tourism ideas and initiatives in British Columbia. Presented by Destination BC in collaboration with Indigenous Tourism BC, and the Tourism Innovation Lab, the program matches selected applicants with a tourism mentor and provides a $5,000 seed grant to help develop new Indigenous tourism ideas. With the provincial state of emergency in effect until December 28, the application deadline has been extended to January 17, 2022.  


OKGN Angel Summit

Accelerate Okanagan’s OKGN Angel Summit is back and bigger than ever. The summit is an investor-led program designed to expose accredited investors to the world of angel investing through a guided, hands-on process where a small venture capital fund is raised, deals are screened, and an actual investment in a company is made.

Participants will go through 10-weeks of structured investor meetings including company reviews, founder pitches, and due diligence sessions. The program culminates in a public pitch event where the Top 6 companies make their final pitch, and the winner is awarded an investment from the fund.

Those interested in participating, can learn more here. The final deadline for applications is December 31, 2021. For any questions about the summit, connect with Accelerate Okanagan’s Acting CEO, Thuy Tran, at thuy@accelerateokanagan.com


Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs program is a federal initiative to provide eligible small businesses, non-profits, and other employers with funding to hire youth, aged 15-30, for summer work experience. Applications for the program will open soon, with an expected closing date of late January 2022. Talent MATCH and Service Canada will be hosting a free info session on January 12, 2022, at 1 p.m. PST to provide employers with more information about the program and how to apply. Advance registration is required.  


Destination BC Tourism Digital Academy

Destination BC (DBC) offers numerous learning resources for tourism-based businesses, including the Tourism Digital Academy, which was launched in 2020 and designed for business owners or marketing team members who are looking to build their digital marketing knowledge and skills to an intermediate level. 

The self-guided version offers participants six months of access to the program resources, which include:

  • Eight (8) 1-hour videos, each focusing on a different aspect of digital marketing.
  • Resources, tools, and templates to support learning throughout the program.
  • A marketing plan template with instructions and activities to guide development of your own plan.

The program is free for BC-based tourism industry members and applications of the self-guided option can be submitted anytime. Intakes for the winter 2022 guided version of the program are full; stay tuned to DBC’s website for information about upcoming intakes.

For questions about the program, email industrydevelopment@destinationbc.ca. Additional resources for tourism businesses are also available through DBC's Learning Centre


Elevating Canadian Experiences

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada's (TIAC) resource hub, Elevating Canadian Experiences (ECE), provides tools and strategies industry members can apply to help grow their business, and in turn tourism within their region. The resources are grouped into themes, including Culinary Tourism and Winter & Shoulder Season Tourism. Resources include webinars, guidelines, strategies, and toolkits that you can explore at your own pace. Visit the ECE Hub for more information.


Destination Canada Marketing Tips & Trips

Destination Canada created a six-part video series with tips and tricks from their team members on several topics:

The videos range from 3 to 5 minutes in length, offering a quick and easy way to gain further insight into digital marketing.


Small Business BC Education (SBBC)

SBBC's ongoing live webinars offer an array of useful information for entrepreneurs and small businesses in all industries, including tourism. Sessions cover a wide range of topics, with past webinars covering how to create a website, how to choose the right apps for your business, and how to create engaging video content with your phone. A list of upcoming webinars can be found on the SBBC website. Thanks to a partnership between Destination BC (DBC) and SBBC, BC-based tourism industry members can access these business education resources free of charge—learn more on DBC's website