Ten tourism-based projects throughout the Kenora region will see a $1.7 million investment from the federal government.

Projects include upgrades at the Mount Evergreen Ski Hill, outdoor areas in Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, the Lac Seul waterfront area in Ear Falls and a variety of projects at a number of local lodges, camps and resorts.

The $1.7 million in funds through Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund were announced by Thunder Bay MPP, Minister Responsible for FedNor and Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu.

“We are deeply focused on supporting the tourism sector through their economic rebuild. [This] funding will champion jobs, businesses and regional recovery efforts, and encourage visitors to discover Kenora and northwestern Ontario’s fantastic tourist destinations,” said Hajdu.

The Kenora Nordic Biathlon Club will see $500,000 to install permanent LED lighting along its Nordic ski trail system at Mount Evergreen, helping residents access more trails after dark. Once complete, the work will allow for further sporting events in the area.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the importance of safe and inclusive outdoor spaces within Northern Ontario communities. More so in the Kenora region where tourism is a major driving force for our economy,” explains Tom Mosindy, Chair of the Kenora Nordic and Biathlon Club.

“[This] announcement will help illuminate five kilometres of our Nordic ski trail system, allowing us to extend operating hours, enhance the user experience and attract more tourists and regional sporting events to the area,” he adds.

Vermilion Bay’s Andy Myers Lodge received a full-repayable investment of $500,000 to alleviate financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic and border closures.

The Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls will see $193,500 to enhance the outdoor area at the Northern Ontario Sport Fishing Centre, helping to install interactive displays, natural-themed play structures, accessible pathways and a Northern Lights Observation Deck – helping to create five full-time jobs during construction.

Dryden’s Bonny Bay Camp and RV Park will see $100,000 to expand and upgrade its marina, three cabins and its RV park. Lodges are expected to get electrical upgrades and accessibility improvements, with the marina seeing new docks, dock improvements, boat lifts and a new fuel dispensing system.

Indian Point Camp on Wabigoon Lake is receiving $87,734 to expand its operations and install a well, water hook-ups, electrical service, a new access road and 16 fully-serviced RV lots with lake views.

Lac Seul’s Evergreen Lodge is seeing a $79,375 investment to expand operations and extend their operating season, with new equipment, relocation of existing cabins and construction of a new fully-accessible, year-round cabin.

The Township of Ear Falls plans to use $58,418 to transform its Lac Seul waterfront area into a gathering and event space for residents and tourists, with an outdoor pavilion and beach mats.

Hanson’s Wilderness Lodge near Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls is expected to receive $54,425 to expand its online presence, extend its operating season and modernize its facilities. Upgrades include energy-efficient heating and cooling, and electric vehicle chargers. They’ll also work to expand the beach area, build a new dock and winterize two cottages.

Red Lake’s Loon Haunt Enterprises is receiving $50,000 to modernize its operations, increase efficiencies and reduce its carbon footprint with new electric fridges and freezers, as well as firefighting equipment and upgrades to the company’s solar power system.