After attracting more than 500,000 people to local festivals and events and generating millions of tourism dollars last year, York Region has renewed its partnership with York Region Arts Council to support tourism.
“Tourism, arts and culture are key economic drivers for York Region and bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to our communities each and every year,” says York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “By working with the York Region Arts Council and other partners, we are continuing to showcase all of what our nine local cities and towns have to offer.”
Ensuring a vibrant arts and culture scene contributes to well-rounded communities, which in turn impacts the growth and attraction of York, the Region says. The partnership will help the Arts Council host various tourism symposiums, offer a local artist mentorship and residency program, and conduct research to better understand the needs of creative stakeholders.
“It’s so important to showcase the development in York Region through tourism,” says City of Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of Planning and Economic Development. “With over 600 events across York Region, the investment in tourism, cultural programs and entertainment options brings people and communities together.”
York established a funding partnership with the Arts Council as a delivery agent to promote regional and local tourism activities in 2011 and renews the partnership each year. Regional Council set aside $77,500 in this year’s budget to help the Arts Council deliver a marketing plan that supports ongoing local tourism promotion, arts and culture programs and industry engagement for tourism.
The Arts Council will also update ExperienceYorkRegion.com. The website featured 40 events throughout York’s nine local municipalities and provided a free platform for promoting more than 600 community events last year. It appeared in more than 3.9 million searches on Google and other search engines and recorded more than 214,000 page views by nearly 126,000 unique visitors. Of those, 81 per cent were new visitors.
The York Region Arts Council will update its ExperienceYorkRegion.com website.