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Visit Central Oregon awards nonprofit regional matching grants


Visit Central Oregon announced on Monday the 2019 recipients of the Central Oregon Regional Matching Grant Program.

With the passage of HB4146, Travel Oregon, the statewide tourism marketing organization, was required to establish a Regional Cooperative Tourism Program to invest 20 percent of the statewide lodging tax generated in Oregon’s seven designated tourism regions.

Visit Central Oregon serves as the appointed Regional Destination Management Organization for the Central Oregon region and implements the RCTP on behalf of the region. A Central Oregon stakeholders’ group was formed to advise and collaborate with Visit Central Oregon on the plan.

A key component of the Central Oregon RCTP is to allocate grant funds to eligible non-profit applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of Central Oregon communities by means of the enhancement, expansion, and promotion of the visitor industry.

A total of $157,000 in matched grants funds is being awarded to eight regional projects listed below, which will total over $436,000 in project completion value.

Airshow of the Cascades – $20,000 in matched grant funds for their Product Marketing and Development Project; drawing visitors from a greater distance through increased media quality and reach.

Central Oregon Film Office- $20,000 in matched grant funds for exhibiting at the American Film Market Location Expo, showcasing Central Oregon locations to producers, directors, studio-professionals and filmmakers who may be interested in scouting Central Oregon for future film productions.

Discover Your Forest – $4,500 in matched grant funds for the creation of a suite of educational, interpretive Ranger Programs across the Deschutes National Forest for visitors of all ages.

Smokejumper & Wildland Fire Education Center – $17,500 in matched grant funds managed by Discover Your Forest towards a Capital Campaign fundraising feasibility study; including fundraising committee development and alignment, stakeholder interviews and a public presentation of a final feasibility report.

High Desert Museum – $25,000 in matched grant funds for their interdisciplinary exhibition Burning Man, using art, makers workshops, lectures and history to explore the role of public art to elevate the museum’s year-round visitor experience.

Sunriver Music Festival – $25,000 in matched grant funds, publicizing world renowned pianist Olga Kern, in key Central Oregon targeted markets such as Phoenix, Coachella Valley and San Francisco; drawing audiences from greater distances to attend the festival.

IN A LANDSCAPE (IAL): Classical Music in the Wild / Sunriver Music Festival – $35,000 in matched grant funds for doubling Central Oregon performances, including collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Oregon, and working towards long-term strategies for enhancing cultural tourism in rural Central Oregon.

Newberry Event Music & Arts Festival to Defeat MS – $10,000 in matched grant funds for increased promotion and pre-event marketing of Newberry Event Music & Arts Festival; also increasing awareness of Central Oregon rural tourism region, Newberry Country.

Interested non-profit applicants may apply for grants on an annual basis. Each project requires its own application and must demonstrate a cash match. The next cycle for FY20-21 COMGP Non-Profit grants and the guidelines will be announced soon. Interested applicants may find more details at Visit Central Oregon’s industry site:

Visit Central Oregon, formerly known as the Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA), has been the non-profit tourism Destination Marketing Association serving Central Oregon since 1971. Visit Central Oregon is supported by nearly 400-member businesses and operates with an annual budget of $3 million.

Visit Central Oregon manages tourism advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations, industry relations, special event management and is the state-designated Regional Destination Management Organization for Travel Oregon’s Regional Cooperative Tourism Program.

For more information, visit or call 800-800-8334.

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