The Canadian government invests $250,000 in the Canadian international air show

FedDev press release | August 19, 2022

Estimated reading time 7 minutes, 18 seconds.

On August 19, on behalf of the Honorable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament for Beaches–East York, announced a non-repayable investment of over $7.2 million to support the return of two major summer events to Toronto: the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Canadian International Airshow.

Thanks to a non-refundable investment of $7 million, granted as part of the Support Project for Major Festivals and Events (MFESI), the CNE will return with modernized offers on site, such as a new heritage program, a new pyrotechnic and drone stage, and the addition of a new structure to the Kids World pavilion. The funding also supports the redesign and improvement of the event’s digital presence and the strengthening of security measures related to COVID-19.

This year’s air show will be held from September 3-5 and ICSW expects to welcome around 2,500 spectators each day. Julie Sturrock

In addition, a non-repayable investment of $250,000 for the Canadian International Airshow, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), will enable the organization to develop new audio and video content to attract the first time virtual visitors to the Toronto waterfront through an online platform, expanding the reach of visitors beyond the in-person experience. Each year, the air show draws nearly a million spectators to the Toronto waterfront.

The investments announced today will allow these events to be better than ever, improve the vitality of the city and support the economic benefits for the community.


“As two of Toronto’s biggest summer events, the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Canadian International Air Show are essential not only for welcoming millions of visitors to Toronto, but also for creating and sustaining jobs for many artists, vendors and event producers The Government of Canada is proud to support the return of the CNE and the Canadian International Air Show, as major festivals and events like these play an important role in the strengthening Canada’s economic recovery. The Honorable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Today’s investment helps bring visitors back to two of the largest and most notable events in the Greater Toronto Area. These events play a key role in supporting thousands of local businesses and jobs, while enhancing community revitalization for residents and the tourism sector. Investments, like those made today for the CNE and the Canadian International Airshow, will help build our major festivals and events sector for a resilient future. – The Honorable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“After two difficult years of COVID, it’s great to have events like the CNE and the Canadian International Air Show back in our city and to have a federal government providing the support to make it happen.” – Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP for BeachesYork East

“We couldn’t come back without this support from the Government of Canada. Recognized as Canada’s largest fair, the Canadian National Exhibition is a major contributor to Toronto’s economy. Through FedDev Ontario’s Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, Toronto will be hosting the event again after the past two years with enhanced product offerings that will position the event for future success. – Darrell Brown, Executive Director, Canadian National Exhibition Association

“The Canadian International Airshow is extremely grateful for the support of the FedDev Ontario Tourism Relief Fund. Without this type of support, we would not have been able to recover from the challenges created by the pandemic. Fans are thrilled that the Toronto Airshow is back with a bang this year. – Lori Duthie, Executive Director, Canadian International Air Show

Fast facts

  • A 2017 economic impact evaluation, conducted by Enigma Research Corporation, reports that the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) generates approximately $93.1 million for the Greater Toronto Area and more than $128.3 million for the province of Ontario each year.
  • The CNE employs more than 1,000 seasonal workers each event season while bringing together more than 700 salespeople and dealers.
  • The Canadian International Air Show is Canada’s largest and longest running air show located in the heart of downtown Toronto and takes place over Labor Day weekend (September 3-5, 2022), in as part of the CNE festivities. It draws fans from across Canada and the Northeastern United States to watch performers on Lake Ontario.
  • With a national budget of $200 million over two years, the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) supports major Canadian festivals and events that have been hard hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. 19 in order to adapt and improve their activities as the economy recovers. . The program is delivered in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario.
  • The Government of Canada’s $500 million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-focused businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million from the Funds allocated to support Indigenous-led or Indigenous-focused projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million from the Tourism Relief Fund to southern Ontario.
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested more than $850 million in more than 1,250 projects in the Toronto area that are expected to create more than 30,000 jobs and maintain more than 43,000 jobs .

This news release was prepared and distributed by FedDev Ontario