WINNIPEG – Two key enhancements are being recommended in an administrative report that would bolster the Special Events Marketing Fund (SEMF) allowing for greater capacity to attract national and international events to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

“Winnipeg is growing and pride in our city has never been higher,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “We need to keep this momentum going, and bolstering our capacity to attract national and international events will help make Winnipeg an even more attractive destination for tourists and visitors to our city.”

In an administrative report to be considered by Executive Policy Committee next week, two key changes are being recommended that if ultimately adopted by Council would allow an additional $252,094 to be available through the SEMF to attract events to Winnipeg.

It is proposed that this additional funding be made available by eliminating the existing funding cap on the SEMF and also reducing the share of funding provided from accommodation tax revenue to the Winnipeg Convention Centre from 40 percent to 37.5 percent. The report notes that the funding adjustment for the Winnipeg Convention Centre would not impact the City of Winnipeg’s commitment to the Convention Centre as existing funding in the Destination Marketing Reserve is available to offset a reduction to their share of accommodation tax revenue.

On a percentage basis, the Special Events Marketing Fund would increase from about 10 percent to approximately 12.2 percent of projected 2018 accommodation tax revenue, representing a small but meaningful step toward achieving a goal of 25 percent of annual accommodation tax proceeds approved in the 2018 City of Winnipeg operating budget. With the elimination of the funding cap, however, funding available through the Special Events Marketing Fund could potentially increase further should growth in accommodation tax revenue exceed forecasted levels.

Winnipeg has hosted many different national and international events over the last few years including the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Grey Cup Festival, the NHL Heritage Classic, a Pro Challenge Tennis Tournament, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Annual Conference and Trade Show, and last summer welcomed over 4,000 athletes and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors to one of the most successful Canada Summer Games ever.

Mayor Bowman emphasized that tourism is a significant contributor to Winnipeg’s economy. When people visit the city, they spend money at hotels, restaurants, concerts, hockey games, and transportation. When the city is able to attract large scale events like the Canada Summer Games or the NHL Heritage Classic, these events can pay significant dividends to local businesses across the city.

The recommendations are scheduled to be considered at the Executive Policy Committee on September 12. If adopted at that meeting, they will proceed for Council’s consideration on September 20.

The complete administrative report is available on the City of Winnipeg’s Decision Making Information System (DMIS).