Industry News

March 30th, 2016


In this edition

Media Exposure at OSW City Fare

Partner Offers Program is Back

Cap Exemptions for TFWs

Heeman's Wins at London Awards

London Beer & BBQ Show

Conference Survey & Presentations

Sustainable Festivals Toolkit





Maximize Your Media Exposure at Ontario's Southwest City Fare 2016


For the first time ever Ontario’s Southwest will coordinate 1-on-1 blogger and writer interviews with interested participants at City Fare taking place May 26th in Toronto. The meetings will be brief, approximately 8 to 10 minutes long, with the goal of building relationships with travel bloggers/writers.


This unique opportunity is free to participating vendors of the City Fare. Click here for more details.


Please contact as soon as possible if you would like to participate. We will then begin the process of matching you with bloggers.


If you have not yet confirmed your participation in the City Fare event please contact as soon as possible as space is filling up. Click here for more details.



Here’s what participants had to say about last year’s event:

"The 2015 Ontario’s Southwest City Fare event was one of the highest energy and engaging tasting events the Arts & Cookery Bank has participated in. The energy flowed from set-up to tear down. The consumers who attended the event were energized and so were all the Ontario's Southwest vendors. The venue (exposed bricks and steel beams) encouraged easy interaction; we found the 1-on-1 opportunity to chat to bloggers a huge benefit. The attendees really wanted to learn about the taste offerings; asking great questions about the source and production of the selections. These types of "pop up" shows create a tremendous way to generate a wonderful buzz about Ontario's Southwest and our food & drink scene. On a personal note, The Arts & Cookery Bank was able to leverage our participation at the event by reaching out to the bloggers we met. We contacted the 23 bloggers to introduce them to our Food Fight Extravaganza held in the summer and their posting helped us receive over 40,000 hits on social media! We've already signed up for the 2016 event!"

- Grace McGartland, The Arts & Cookery Bank

"I loved meeting all the great vendors at the Ontario’s Southwest City Fare. It was a great way to connect with local businesses, taste their food & wine offerings, and hear their stories. As a travel writer it was great to connect with them all in one place and I look forward to visiting them and writing about them in the future."

- Sharon Mendelaoui, Editor-in-Chief, Dream Travel Magazine


“City Fare was an event like no other. The event, an excellent showcase of what Ontario’s Southwest has to offer, was an eye-opening experience for those in attendance. Burning Kiln Winery was excited to showcase our VQA wines for media and wine enthusiasts from the Toronto area. We jumped at this opportunity to entice visitors and media to our emerging wine region and look forward to the upcoming 2016 event!”

- Susan Judd, Burning Kiln Winery

London Beer & BBQ Show

The London Beer & BBQ Show takes place June 17th - 19th at the Western Fair District in London. Ontario’s Southwest is once again working with you, our partners, to develop a pavilion to showcase the region. The maximum cost of a 10'x10' booth space at the show in the OSW pavilion is $500+HST. This cost may be reduced further based on the number of participants in the pavilion. 

If you are interested in participating in this event, please contact


Partner Offers Program is Back


OSW invites you to participate in our marketing campaigns for Beer, Wine & Culinary (BWC) and Waterfront planned for the 2016 tourism season.

We look to you, the tourism operator, to supply offers (discounts, a gift with purchase, buy one - get one pricing, exclusive experiences, etc.) that will be promoted on and linked to your website for fulfillment.

We encourage you to participate, at no cost to you, and to leverage this investment to help drive traffic to your business. Last year’s campaigns delivered 55,787 qualified leads to operators’ websites.

  • Deadline to respond for inclusion in the BWC Campaign is April 25, 2016. 
  • Deadline to respond for inclusion in the Waterfront Campaign is May 20, 2016. 


View the program information document & contract.

Click here to download the collection form.

Conference Survey Winner & Presentations


We would like to thank those who took the time to complete the conference feedback survey.  This information is integral to building future conferences.

Congratulations to Mark Muscat of Sparta Country Candles who won the survey prize!

As promised the presentations that we have been given permission to share are now available on

Tourism Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) are Exempt from Program Caps

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has made it easier for tourism businesses to access badly needed labour for the 2016 season.

This summer, tourism businesses are eligible to hire TFWs outside the 10% cap limit: 

  • This is a temporary measure until the government conducts its review of the program, and applies only to the 2016 summer season.
  • TFWs hired for a period of less than 180 days WILL NOT be included in cap limit calculations of 20% (and 10% once the cap is reduced on July 1, 2016).
  • $1000 fee per worker and the LMIA requirements still apply.
  • Businesses can apply for as many 180-day positions as they want 


SWOTC appreciates this temporary measure.  We are happy that the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is working on our behalf to find longer term labour solutions.

Please check with Employment and Skills Development Canada for more details and how to apply.

Festivals & Events Toolkit


Since the major festivals & events season is just around the corner we wanted to include a reminder that the Sustainable Festivals Toolkit is available for download at This kit includes current festival trends, best practices, and ways to grow your tourism festival.

Congratulations Heeman's!

SWOTC and Visit Middlesex are thrilled to extend our congratulations to Heeman's Greenhouses and Strawberry Farm for winning the first ever Agri-Business of the Year Award handed out by the London Chamber of Commerce at their annual Business Achievement Awards (the largest in Canada) on March 23rd, 2016.


Check out all the exciting things Heeman's has to offer after more than 50 years in business in Middlesex County at



Ontario's Southwest






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