MIDLAND (April 21, 2016) – Martyrs’ Shrine has received a Celebrate Ontario grant of $17,269 from the province of Ontario to expand programming for Sainte-Marie among the Hurons’ First Light festival. The grant, in addition to the investment made by Martyrs’ Shrine, will cover costs related to offering complimentary event programming on the Martyrs’ Shrine grounds. The grant also provides additional marketing dollars to attract overnight visitors, and promote packages that increase visitor spending within the region.
“We are very grateful to have been granted these funds through Celebrate Ontario and look forward to being a part of this great event, ” says Fr. Michael Knox, SJ, Director of Martyrs’ Shrine.
The First Light festival, created in 2000 by Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, saw over 11,000 visitors last year, and showcases the region’s francophone and aboriginal heritage. Martyrs’ Shrine plans work in partnership with Huronia Historical Parks to build programming complimentary to the festival and accommodate the growing number of festival-goers who visit the Heart of Georgian Bay to experience First Light every year. This year’s First Light festival runs November 24th to the 26th, December 1st to the 3rd and December 8th to the 10th 2016.
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Martyrs’ Shrine is the National Shrine to the Canadian Martyrs, celebrating its 90th season, and is a ministry of the Jesuits in English Canada. This ‘house of prayer, home of peace’ honours the Jesuit missionaries and their companions who lived, worked, and died here over 350 years ago. It is located in Midland, Ontario, in the heart of the Huron Confederacy of the 17th century. More than 130,000 visitors from around the world, and from all cultural backgrounds, are welcomed to the Shrine’s 75-acre landscaped grounds each year.
Allex Laurin, Marketing and Communications Coordinator