The Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce is receiving a big boost from the province to help the town’s tourism industry.

The Ontario Government is investing $4.4 million to support the long-term sustainability of the province’s tourism industry following an announcement Thursday.

Of that funding, the Chamber will be receiving $290,300 through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program to help with a holiday lighting display for the town.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Lisa MacLeod was in Toronto to announce recipients for the program as well as the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.

She says the pandemic continues to impact the tourism and culture industries – which were hit first and will take the longest to recover.

“It is critical that we support organizations as they adapt and find new ways to engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs,” MacLeod said. “Through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund, our government’s investments will help support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario, making sure we are well-positioned to re-emerge stronger, and once again showcase how Ontario offers the world in one province.”

The Reconnect Festival and Event Program see the province investing more than $3.4 million to support 27 events and initiatives.

That funding will support festival and event organizers as they adapt to new public health measures.

Meanwhile, $912,000 is being invested in 14 initiatives through the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.

To give organizations more time to develop new programming and submit applications, the Reconnect Festival and Event Program deadline will be extended by three weeks to December 22, at 5 p.m.

Tourism in Ontario supports more than 400,000 jobs and generates over $36 billion in spending.