Ontario Supporting Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise RibFest

NEWSJuly 3, 2024

WHITBY – Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, announced today that the Ontario government has provided the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise with $20,000 through the Experience Ontario 2024 program. This funding will support the organization’s annual RibFest event and is a part of the $19.5 million that is being invested in festivals and events across the province.

“The festival and event industry plays a vital role in strengthening local economies in communities like Whitby and other parts of the Region of Durham,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier. “I am pleased that we are supporting Rotary event organizers right here in Whitby who are creating innovative experiences that help Durham residents engage with their communities while creating jobs and boosting the local economy.”

“Festivals and events enrich the lives of Ontarians and strengthen local economies,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I am proud that our government is supporting festival and event organizers across the province through the Experience Ontario 2024 program, helping them to create unique local experiences that will attract visitors, create jobs and promote economic development.”

“I am beyond excited to have the support of Experience Ontario. This helps enable us to promote and provide programming which grows tourism and showcases Whitby as a destination and cultural hub right here in Durham Region.”

– Kevin Folk, Co-Chair of the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise RibfestPLUS Committee

“The Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise has organized the Whitby Ribfest for 14 years.  And every dollar it earns goes right back into the community, helping hundreds of Charities, groups and individuals every year.  For us, this years’ event represents a time of evolution for the event, now called “Whitby RibFest PLUS.”  It’s time for growth and to change how we do things with a goal of something even bigger and better!  We’ll be serving a much bigger crowd and a more diverse palate.  We’re celebrating culture, arts, music, refreshments and great food from around the world, and I’m so excited to be doing all of this with this amazing support of the Province of Ontario!”

– Peter Bocking, Co-Chair of the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise RibfestPLUS Committee


  • This program, originally established in 2007 as Celebrate Ontario, has invested more than $284 million in over 3,600 Ontario festivals and events.
  • Festivals and events are also supported through the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (OCAF), which provides eligible organizations with funding for marketing and promotional costs.
  • Tourism makes significant contributions to Ontario’s economy, supporting approximately 360,000 jobs and generating over $35 billion of economic activity.