With a lot of local microbreweries, wineries and craft cider producers feeling the hard effects of COVID-19 with a significant drop in revenues, the Government of Canada has implemented a series of significant measures to help these businesses keep afloat.
Among those was MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Co. in Bath.
Fittingly the funding announcement came on Aug. 7, International Beer Day. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced $250,000 through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) to help three Central Ontario producers enhance culinary tourism experiences expand their product offerings and support local jobs.
“Central Ontario is a beautiful and bountiful part of our country,” said Joly in a statement. “It’s no surprise visitors are drawn by all it has to offer, including incredible craft beer, cider and wine. With our tourism industry feeling the impact of COVID-19, this important investment from FedDev Ontario will help three local businesses not just survive, but thrive. Our message is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now as our economy re-opens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Central Ontario’s economy come back strong.”
MacKinnon Brothers is receiving $75,000 to attract more visitors by enhancing its property and hosting events.
The brewery located at 1915 County Rd 22 will be adding a permanent outdoor timber-frame stage to host music festivals, performances by a local theatre company and other events to help draw more tourists during the shoulder season.
Located on a bicentennial family farm just outside of Kingston, MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Co. has over 200 years of farming heritage with four co-owners and eight full-time employees. Starting their brewing journey in 2014, the McKinnon Brothers use hops, wheat and barley grown on their own farm to brew beer.
“We at MacKinnon Brothers Brewing are very excited for the opportunity to build a permanent stage at the brewery,” Ivan MacKinnon from MacKinnon Brother Brewing Co. expressed. “Allowing us to continue to focus on local music and theatre we are grateful to FedDev Ontario and the Canadian Experiences Fund for this contribution and look forward to many great shows in the future.”
In Ontario, tourism accounts for $39.4 billion of GDP and directly and indirectly supports more than 820,000 jobs.
“Tourism businesses, including artisanal cider, craft beer and wine producers, contribute to the richness of the Southern Ontario landscape,” said Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario). “The investments made through the Canadian Experiences Fund will have a positive impact not only on the businesses themselves, but on the local economies that depend on their unique contributions.”