SUDBURY -- On Thursday, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, joined Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano to announce more than $700,000 in funding to help propel the local arts and tourism sectors.

“Our sectors were hit first, the hardest and will take the longest to recover,” said MacLeod in a news release Thursday. “As our government moves forward with reopening the province, we are proud to support numerous organizations that build up our unique communities and put our tourism industry on a path to recovery.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the government has continued to invest in Ontario’s tourism and creative sectors. Through Community Museum Operating Grants, the Celebrate Ontario program Public Library Operating Grants and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the government has made investments to enrich local and visitor experiences, including:

- $46,542 for the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre

- $368,069 for the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library

- $18,780 for the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site

- $258,500 for the Invasive Species Centre

- $24,963 for the Sault Ste. Marie Museum

"Through the Community Museum Operating Grant, the Community Library Operating Grant, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario government is committed to ensuring our important cultural landmarks can continue to provide the services that our community knows and loves,” said Romano. “These investments will help Sault Ste. Marie attract visitors, show off our beautiful city, and grow our local economy.”

Romano said the government is committed to continuing its work with the province’s tourism and arts sectors to ensure that as the economy gradually reopens, "Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to our province."