“Stratford itself is the type of walkable wholesome town Rodgers and Hammerstein might write a musical about.”
– Amy Alipio, Associate Editor, National Geographic Traveler


The 2020 Stratford Destination Animation Project (DAP) is an initiative of Stratford City Centre BIA, Stratford Tourism Alliance and Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc. New in 2020 there will be three application streams with a total contribution room of up to approximately $32,000 for proposals in: animation, hygiene, and storytelling. DAP funds are available to eligible partnership opportunities up to a maximum 1:1 matched basis.

The Destination Animation Project has been launched to tell and amplify the story of Stratford. It specifically encourages visitor-focused activities and projects that enhance Stratford’s “DNA” and solidifies Stratford’s unique position as a “Cultural Resort Town.” 

The Selection Committee will review proposal applications based on merit and conformity to the following guidelines. The amount available for co-investment to successful applicants is provisional with the final amounts allocated to be determined at the discretion of the Selection Committee based on the strength of applications.


Applicants must be located in or in close proximity to Stratford and be a visitor friendly business/organization/establishment/event.

Eligible organizations include:

  • Tourism enterprises, BIA’s and businesses (as individual organizations or as a consortium) with interests in arts & culture, heritage, agri-culinary, sports, meetings & conventions, etc.
  • Festivals and Events
  • For-profit or non-profit organizations.

The project may be brand new or an enhancement and can be small or large in scale.

Be able to achieve a minimum 1:1 matching contribution, either in dollars or value-in-kind.

– For example, if a total project budget is $1000, applicants are able to apply for up to $500.

Applicants are welcome to submit multiple applications for different projects. Individual projects can submit for any amount from $500 to $10,000.

Ineligible requests include:

  • Capital/infrastructure expenses
  • Regular operational expenses
  • Charitable contributions

Destination Project Streams

Animation – Aims to create new experiences and enable product development that targets visitors but also offers unique experiences for residents as well.

Goals of animation: 

  • Increase the quantity and quality of visitor experiences
  • Increase destination awareness by creating engaging experiences that are highly shareable
  • Provide visitors with new opportunities to stay longer and interact more with the town
  • Increase tourism economic impact 

Hygiene – focuses on enabling feasible projects that have a positive impact on the destination and visitor experience.

Goal of Hygiene: Improve the visitor experience through physical or digital projects, such as streetscaping, wayfinding, mobile responsiveness and digital path to purchase (e-commerce).

Storytelling – telling the story of Stratford in an engaging and authentic manner to current, or potential visitors through the creation and distribution of new content outside of traditional print materials.


  • Following a review of eligibility and guidelines interested parties are to complete the attached application in its entirety.
  • Applications must be submitted by the deadline, March 11th, 2020.
  • The Selection Committee will evaluate applications against their given project scorning criteria.
  • Any applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a rolling basis at the discretion of the Selection Committee and pending resource availability.
  • Successful projects will be announced 1-2 weeks following the deadline.
  • Co-investment dollars for successful applications are then issued in two installments.
    • The first 50% is issued following the signing of an MOU between the Co-investment project and successful applicant.
    • The remaining 50% is issued following the completion of the selected event/project and submission of final reporting materials. More details below.

Scoring Criteria

Standard (used for all three streams)

  1. Alignment with the DNA of destination
  2. Feasibility
  3. Level of collaboration with other stakeholders
  4. Risk/barrier mitigation strategy
  5. Ability to build local capacity and capability

Additional Animation and Storytelling

  1. Net new or enhanced experience
  2. Level of shareability (inspired social media sharing and engagement)
  3. Potential to attract out-of-town visitors

Animation Only

  1. Unique, authentic experience
  2. Appeals to both visitors and local residents
  3. Potential economic benefit to Stratford area
  4. Marketing/promotional expertise and execution strategy

Hygiene Only

  1.  Improves the visitor experience

Final Reporting

All organizations who receive co-investment are required to provide a final report no later than 60 days from the conclusion of the event or completion of the project. A report template will be provided and include reporting of the following:

  1. Copies of receipts against the approved co-invested project elements.
  2. Results data for measurement metrics identified in original application.
  3. Anecdotal observations of project execution.
  4. Links to any earned media.




Please feel free to email or call if you have any questions or need clarification.
Leigh Cove 
(519) 271-7000 x 204

Rebecca Scott
General Manager
Stratford City Centre BIA
(519) 508-6503