Saunders Farm among list of recipients of 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event program

(2021 sees the Saunders Farm family celebrating their 30th year with their upcoming Haunting Season. Photos: Saunders Farm)

Saunders Farm is looking forward to another year of creating amazing fun, food, and memories. The attraction is receiving $96,750 and $97,750 of funding to go towards their Haunting Season and A Country Christmas events, respectively.

Courtesy of Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, the Reconnect Festival and Event Program offers non-capital funding for events in Ontario. The program’s goals are to:

  • Provide safe experiences that encourage people to rediscover the beauty and diversity of all that Ontario communities have to offer, virtually or in-person when it is safe to do so.
  • Draw attendees, whether in-person or virtually, through innovative programming, and provide positive economic impact for the local community, the region, and the province.
  • Provide job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture, and entertainment sectors.
  • Increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or broadcast exposure to instill interest in future travel to the province once it is safe to do so again.

“Receiving Reconnect funding will help us safely re-open and expand our events this fall and winter. This critical support allows us to further engage local artists and suppliers for Haunting Season and A Country Christmas so that Ontarians can gather and rediscover the beauty and creativity of our province.” Mark Saunders, Owner and Director of Fun at Saunders Farm states.

In conversation with Stittsville Central, Mark explains that the process of applying for funding is complicated and stringent, and that the completed application “has to be above and beyond.” Each event has a specific budget to go towards hiring entertainers, renting equipment, paying employees, safety protocols, and more.

“Numbers were way down last year,” so Mark is looking forward to what’s to come this year at Saunders Farm, with some exciting changes being made to the attractions, including one thrilling secret addition.

The 30th Haunting Season at Saunders Farm takes place through October. Along with the usual frightening and pumpkin-filled attractions and events, one haunt is being completely revamped and new big shows are being planned.

Additionally, Saunders Farm has partnered with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) for a new haunted attraction, Sawmill at Lansdowne, happening through October at Lansdowne Park.

Throughout December, A Country Christmas at Saunders Farm offers visitors many festive holiday attractions. The drive-through light show features “exciting new lighting technology never before seen in Ottawa,” says Mark. A cozy Christmas Town Square will also be available to wander through.

Another exciting new venture is Saunders Cider. After acquiring Flying Canoe Hard Cider earlier this year, Saunders Farm is opening their CiderHouse and taproom with up to four ciders. Saunders Cider will also be available for purchase at LCBO stores in the region.

Saunders Farm is located at 7893 Bleeks Road in Munster. They are currently open for their Summer Season (until September 5th) on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


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