October 21, 2002

Bruce CFDC is proud of the role it has played in the facilitation and evolution of a significant new tourism product.  Approached in the fall of 1999 to help with the development of a Kincardine Scottish Festival concept, Bruce CFDC provided technical support resulting in an approved HRDC funding application to help with organizational development, event planning and delivery of a quality first year festival program in 2000.

The inaugural festival drew about 7200 people with 50% coming from Kincardine and the surrounding Bruce & Grey Counties.  For a first year event, this was deemed an unqualified success.  The Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games celebrated its second year in 2001.  Committed to building on a promising first year event, second year marketing emphasis was directed at increasing attendance from traditional tourism markets outside the Bruce-Grey region.  To accomplish this, the festival organizers again approached Bruce CFDC to provide guidance and support in leveraging funding to develop a practical and targeted marketing plan.  Assistance to implement the marketing program was secured from the TEMP program through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Recreation.

The marketing campaign was targeted primarily in the London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph markets, followed by the Hamilton and Toronto markets . The overriding objective was to increase visitor expenditures in the retail, service and accommodations sectors.  A secondary objective was to generate sufficient income to allow the festival to be self-sufficient, and support the hiring of a permanent festival coordinator toward the 2002 event.

With a second HRDC funding project, a local professional communication consultant was hired to design the campaign image and materials.  The provincial TEMP funding allowed a full media blitz including radio, television, print and Internet ads to be mounted during the six weeks prior to the Festival dates.

To monitor and gauge the Festival’s economic impact, Bruce CFDC was asked to develop and coordinate a strategy to assess visitation and expenditure patterns.  A summary of the results is included for review.

The marketing campaign proved highly successful, evidenced by most of the increase in festival attendance coming from outside the Bruce-Grey region.  Total attendance increased from 7200 in 2000 to 10,000 in 2001, with 60 percent of those attending the Festival this year coming from outside Bruce and Grey Counties, up from 50% in 2000.  Expenditures on local goods and services were also up, with the largest increase coming from the longer haul visitors.

Revenues generated by the 2001 Festival have enabled a Festival Coordinator to be hired, without financial contribution form federal, provincial or municipal sources.

Tourism is an important local economic generator.  This initiative is an example of the catalytic role Bruce CFDC has played toward strengthening and expanding tourism product development, while encouraging and enabling community events to be self-sustaining.