SAULT STE. MARIE -- The Ontario government announced Wednesday morning Science North will receive $1.4 million funding to develop the Great Northern Ontario Roadshow.


The tour will span 50 northern Ontario communities and looks to support local tourist attractions.

"Before COVID-19, we had a vibrant tourism sector here in the north, so it is crucial that we look at innovative ways to support our local attractions as we plan for recovery and adjustment," said Greg Rickford, minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "Today's investment in Science North is directly contributing to the sustainability of our northern tourism industry."

Science North said the exhibition is as much as a display of what it personally offers as it is to showcase the wonders of Northern Ontario.

Science North CEO Guy Labine said its major goal is to aid in the revitalization of a tourism sector that's been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Great Northern Roadshow is focused on encouraging hyper-local and regional tourism," said Labine. "It will help local businesses attractions and communities to recover as the pandemic urgency starts to ease."

Tourism group Destination Northern Ontario said the roadshow is a great way to kickstart that effort.

"Partnering with the arts and crafts and vendors through the marketplace, it brings us all together," said executive director David MacLachlan. "I think it will bring the best of northern Ontario to each of the communities along the route."

Science North said the exhibition will create 140 new jobs and should attract around 70,000 to its physically distanced events.

The Great Northern Ontario Roadshow is expected to launch next summer.