Role of the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust co-ordinates the provincewide program and works with corporate sponsors, heritage and tourism groups, the media (print, television and radio) and other funding organizations to provide participating Doors Open Ontario communities with the following:

  • overall program co-ordination and administration
  • provincewide promotion, media relations and branding (see below)
  • community resource materials, including tip sheets on topics such as recruiting and managing volunteers, securing sponsorship and funding, developing a promotion and publicity plan, and managing health, safety and security issues; as well as templates for property interpretation materials, media releases, visitor surveys and site organizer’s evaluation forms
  • colourful bilingual Doors Open Ontario property identification signs for each participating site
  • French translation of community event information for the Doors Open Ontario lure brochure, website and other provincial marketing materials

Provincewide promotion, media relations and branding

Promotion in the Doors Open Ontario brochure

Each participating community/community cluster will have their local event promoted in the Doors Open Ontario lure brochure. The brochure, produced in English and French, is designed as a tourism “lure” piece to raise the profile of the program and direct readers to the Doors Open Ontario website for more detailed information about each event and participating sites. Each participating community will have its event name, date and one photo featured in the brochure – so choose your photo carefully!

Your chosen photo should be esthetically pleasing and representative of your community or the specific theme that you have chosen for your event. People may decide whether to visit your event based on this photo alone, so it is best to feature an image that will prompt an immediate interest or resonate with readers for its beauty. Since the selected image will also be featured as the background image for your event page on the Doors Open Ontario website, it is also important that it be a high-resolution file (at least 300 dpi) with a landscape (horizontal) orientation – i.e., its width should be greater than its height.

In 2018, the Trust estimates that approximately 1 million printed units, composed of brochures and other hardcopy promotional materials, will be printed and distributed throughout Ontario, Canada and abroad. The majority of these units will be distributed as inserts in local newspapers within participating communities. Other distribution outlets will include 1-800-ONTARIO call centres, Ontario Travel Information Centres, Government Information Centres, community outlets and sponsor/partner venues.

Community organizers must submit their chosen image for the brochure to the Trust by January 26, 2018. All images must be submitted through the Doors Open Ontario website using the username and password provided following your registration.

Doors Open Ontario website

Each community/community cluster will be given an event page on the Doors Open Ontario website that features a full listing of participating sites. Your Doors Open Ontario event page is a critical resource for your event, as it will be the first – and, in some cases, the only – place that prospective visitors go to collect detailed information about your event. Your event page will contain the event date, general contact information, background information about your community, instructions on how someone can become a volunteer and, most importantly, a listing for each participating site that includes the site name and address, the dates and hours it will be open, a photo gallery, a map and a written description of the site’s significance.

All site listings must be completed online and submitted via the Doors Open Ontario website. Registered community organizers will have access to the Site Listing Form through their login to the website. The Ontario Heritage Trust reserves the right to edit the submitted information for content, style and length. The Trust assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Photos associated with each site must also be submitted via the website (captions can be submitted by email under separate cover). Community organizers can submit as many photos as they wish for any given site, but a primary image must be identified. These photos will be used to compile a slideshow for each site, with the primary image appearing as the default image next to the site description.

The first 10 site submissions for your event – including full site descriptions and photos – must be completed by February 23, 2018. This deadline will ensure that all participating events are well represented on the website when the season launches and Doors Open Ontario promotional products are distributed in April 2018. Community organizers can continue to submit new site listings for additional sites up to one month prior to their event. It is strongly recommended that community organizers submit listings via the Doors Open Ontario website for all participating sites. If certain sites are not included on the Doors Open Ontario website, prospective visitors will not gain an accurate impression of the associated event.

Available in English and French, the Doors Open Ontario website is an important tool for promoting the program across Ontario, Canada and abroad. During the 2017 season, there were over 110,000 visitors to the Doors Open Ontario website, representing over 280,000 page views.

Media relations

The Trust will develop and implement an integrated media plan promoting Doors Open Ontario events.

Over the past 16 years, Doors Open Ontario has garnered extensive media coverage (print, internet and broadcast) throughout the province. Last year’s coverage included hundreds of print and broadcast news stories, as well as over 188,000 impressions on Facebook and Twitter.

Site signs

Colourful bilingual property identification signs in both English and French will be provided to each community. These signs will draw attention to each site’s participation in the program and aid in brand recognition of Doors Open Ontario. You will be contacted by a Trust representative in March 2018 to determine how many signs you will require for your event. Signs are ordered online through the Doors Open Ontario website only. The Trust orders signs for the season based on totals sent by each community, so select the numbers of signs you’ll need wisely.

The Trust would be pleased to discuss with communities the estimated financial value of its Doors Open Ontario program coordination, marketing and related services that support each community event.