Important dates

Applications accepted every year during the following periods:

  • April 1 – 30
  • October 1 – 31

Eligible applicants will be notified within an estimated 8 weeks of the application deadline.

Overview

The Tourism Growth Innovation Fund (TGIF) is a project-based grant program that aims to support economic growth and improve quality of life in communities across Alberta.

TGIF has 2 streams:

  • Destination Development Support
  • Product Development Support

The Destination Development Support stream helps tourism organizations and Alberta municipalities create new tourism products and destination development opportunities through research-based studies, surveys and plans.

The Product Development Support stream helps non-profit tourism attraction operators who want to develop projects that grow tourism experiences within Alberta.

Both streams commit to principles of:

  • collaboration
  • research-based decision-making
  • tourism innovation and excellence

For more information, read the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund Guidelines.

Disclaimer: The Tourism Growth Innovation Fund and all associated forms, guidelines and processes are subject to review and can change.

Funding

Destination Development Support will fund up to $75,000 of eligible project costs. Applicants must contribute 25% of the total project cost. For projects with costs greater than $100,000, the applicant must cover the remaining balance.

Product Development Support will fund up to $75,000 of eligible project costs. Applicants must match funding. For projects with costs greater than $150,000, the applicant must cover the remaining balance.

Multiple applications

Eligible organizations can apply to both streams for separate and distinct projects.

Each applicant is limited to one application per grant stream per Government of Alberta fiscal year.

Applicants must disclose all partners in each application.

Funding priority

Preference is given to applications that highlight the following opportunities:

  • Destination Development Support projects that focus on regions outside of the urban centres of Edmonton, Calgary and the Rocky Mountain Parks.
  • Destination Development Support and Product Development Support projects that focus on:
    • winter and shoulder seasons (spring/fall)
    • product lines that support Alberta Culture and Tourism outcomes such as
      • nature-based tourism emphasizing principles of sustainable tourism, where economic benefits are balanced with environmental priorities
      • cultural tourism that builds authentic experiences and a sense of place
      • Indigenous cultural tourism that demonstrates a respect for the perspectives of Indigenous peoples, inclusiveness and cross-cultural understanding through tourism
      • agricultural and culinary tourism that uses and promotes Alberta-grown and sourced products

Eligibility

Eligible applicants

The following can apply for the Destination Development Support stream:

  • incorporated non-profit organizations whose mandate/function includes tourism development
  • municipalities
  • Métis Settlements
  • First Nations
  • partnerships between 2 or more combinations of the above entities

The following can apply for the Product Development Support stream:

  • non-profit operators of tourism attractions

Operators must have been operating an attraction for 3 years or longer to apply for Product Development Support funding.

Ineligible applicants

The following are not eligible to apply for funding:

  • for-profit organizations
  • provincially owned and operated facilities
    • non-profit organizations (friends societies) that support programming and operations at provincial and local facilities and attractions can apply

Eligible projects

Destination Development Support projects include (but are not limited to):

  • strategic and other planning documents such as destination management plans, tourism opportunity assessments and gap analyses
  • community Visitor Friendly assessments
  • community visitor surveys
  • product feasibility studies

Product Development Support projects include:

  • development or enhancement of tourism experiences or programming
  • expansion into complementary tourism products or niches that can enhance an attraction’s appeal to visitors

Ineligible projects

Business plans, marketing plans or investment prospectuses for the sole benefit of a private operator are ineligible for Destination Development Support funding.

Nonprofit organizations interested in pursuing financial support for tourism marketing initiatives are encouraged to see Travel Alberta’s Cooperative Marketing Investment Program.

Eligible expenses

Eligible expenses for the Destination Development Support stream include:

  • contracted services or project management costs associated with the project
  • material and equipment costs associated with the project
    • material and equipment costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs

Eligible expenses for the Product Development Support stream include:

  • project-based staffing costs
  • material and equipment costs associated with the project
    • material and equipment costs must not exceed 50% of total project costs
  • other costs as may be deemed necessary for the completion of the project

Ineligible expenses

Ineligible expenses for the Destination Development Support stream include:

  • costs associated with developing and submitting TGIF applications
  • capital infrastructure including construction and upgrading costs
  • operating costs of organizations including administration, permanent staff salaries and ongoing maintenance costs
  • travel expenses not directly related to project execution
  • legal, audit or interest fees
  • insurance, buyouts, restructuring costs, refundable goods and service tax
  • retroactive funding for costs that have already been incurred prior to application approval

Ineligible expenses for the Product Development Support stream include:

  • costs associated with developing and submitting TGIF applications
  • administrative or operational costs outside of the project and normally considered the responsibility of the applicant, including but not limited to:
    • rent
    • insurance
    • telephone
    • internet
    • office equipment costs
  • land acquisition
  • capital infrastructure including construction and upgrading costs
  • marketing costs including advertising and promotion
  • website development including web-based marketing and promotion-based activities
  • gifts, contests, prizes, awards, trophies and plaques
  • non-arm’s length transactions (payments to an affiliated organization, payments to directors/board members or their families)
  • fundraising and similar activities not related directly to the project
  • travel expenses not directly related to project execution
  • membership fees
  • debt reduction
  • legal, audit or interest fees
  • insurance, buyouts, restructuring costs, refundable goods and service tax
  • retroactive funding for costs that have already been incurred prior to application approval

How to apply

Applications accepted every year during the following periods:

  • April 1 – 30
  • October 1 – 31

Step 1. Fill out an application

Select the correct funding stream when filling out the TGIF Application Form (PDF, 1.6 MB).

Be sure to save a copy of the application in your files.

You can also get Microsoft Word versions of TGIF applications through Regional Economic Development offices across the province.

Applications must be signed by your project manager and a designated signing officer for your organization.

Step 2. Gather your supporting documents

In addition to the above, you will need to include:

  • letters of support from relevant stakeholders integral to the project’s development or achievement of outcomes
  • supporting financial documentation:
    • non-profit applicant cash contributions must be supported by current financial statements (statement of revenue and expenses, and balance sheet) signed by 2 authorities of the organization, or current bank records to confirm that the cash is available
    • municipal, Métis Settlement, or First Nations community cash contributions must be confirmed with a letter of support
    • federal or private foundation grant funding towards the project must be confirmed with a letter from program representatives

Funding from other Alberta government grants (excluding contributions from Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and Francophone Secretariat funding) and in-kind contributions will not be considered part of the applicant contribution. Cash contributions from project partners must be confirmed/ disclosed through letters of support.

Step 3: Submit your application and supporting documents

Submit the application, supporting documentation, and a scanned void cheque for your organization by email, mail or fax:

Email: tgif@gov.ab.ca
Fax: 780-427-0778

Address:
Tourism Growth Innovation Fund
6th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 – 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 4L6

Please save a copy of the completed grant application and accompanying documents for your records.

After you apply

Your application will be reviewed to confirm basic eligibility requirements are met and the application is complete. If you meet the criteria, a committee of tourism development professionals will evaluate your application through a competitive, merit-based process.

Applicants will receive notification of the evaluation results approximately 8 weeks after the application deadline.

Program funding is limited and not every eligible application will receive funding. The amount approved for each project, initiative, or opportunity may be less than the amount requested.
All funding decisions are final and appeals will not be accepted.

Release of funding

Successful applicants are required to enter into a formal grant agreement before funds are released. Specific terms, conditions and reporting requirements will be provided.

Grant conditions

Project work may extend over a maximum of 3 years. Interim reporting will be required at the discretion of Alberta Culture and Tourism.

Extensions on project completion and changes to project scope may be requested by submitting a written request to the grant agreement’s designated Ministry representative by a minimum of 30 business days before the end of the grant term.

The request must include an explanation of why the extension and/or change in scope is necessary to fulfill the grant agreement’s approved purpose.

Reporting and conditions

For Destination Development Support projects, grant recipients must submit the following before the end of the grant term:

  • a copy of the final project report
  • a TGIF Financial Reporting Form (PDF, 2.2 MB) certified by:
    • for non-profit applicants, the organization’s financial/signing authority and one other board member other than the treasurer
    • for municipal and Métis Settlement applicants, the chief administrative officer (CAO)
    • for First Nations applicants, a registered accounting professional or a representative of the First Nation whose position has been authorized by band council resolution to provide financial reporting
  • a concise TGIF Grant Completion Form (PDF, 1.6 MB)

For Product Development Support projects, grant recipients are required to submit the following before the end of the grant term:

Projects funded through the TGIF may be required to acknowledge Government of Alberta support for the initiative. The grant funding agreement outlines specific details on the acknowledgment.

Contact

If you have any questions about the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund, application or process, please contact us.

Email: tgif@gov.ab.ca