Marketing grant assists Canoetananny paddle and music jam event

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism presented a Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant to the Fox Wisconsin Heritage Parkway on May 7 at the Villa Louis historic site in Prairie du Chien. The $1,500 grant is being utilized in the organization and marketing for the Canoetananny Paddle and Music Jam, which takes place this weekend, May 17-18. This two-day paddle totals more than 17 miles, from Bridgeport to Wauzeka. Pictured during the check presentation are (seated, from left) Scott Teuber, of Wisconsin River Outings; David Connolly, Crawford County Economic Development director; Susan Caya-Slusser, Villa Louis site director; (standing) Mary Antoine, Prairie du Chien Historical Society/Fort Crawford Museum president; Pete Flesch, Crawford County Board; Patrick Reinsma, Travel Wisconsin regional tourism specialist; Chad Breuer, Wyalusing State Park superintendent; Sherry Quamme, Wisconsin River Parkway Commission/Crawford County Tourism Council; and Mark Sethne, UW-Platteville outdoor recreation specialist. (Photo by Correne Martin)

 More travelers are invited for a weekend paddle adventure along the Lower Wisconsin River for Canoetananny with the help of a $1,500 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant. Canoetananny, The Lower Wisconsin Heritage Paddle and Music Jam, will be held May 17-18 and offers a two-day paddle along the Lower Wisconsin River, overnight camping at Wyalusing State Park and activities along the way. Event organizers estimate the festival will generate an economic impact of $16,240 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores.

“We’re excited to support this event, which will allow people to experience the natural beauty of the Wisconsin and Mississippi River confluence with other paddling enthusiasts,” Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett said. “Investing in the promotion of this event positively brands the Lower Wisconsin River, attracts new visitors, and generates positive economic impact for the state and communities.”

The Canoetananny: The Lower Wisconsin Heritage Paddle and Music Jam was inspired by the FWHP Heritage Paddle Series, which was created to increase paddle participant numbers. This is the first time the paddle series has come to the Lower Wisconsin River. The two-day Canoetananny paddle totaling more than 17 miles, from Bridgeport to Wauzeka, offers heritage tours and a music jam for all ages. Visitors will dine in Prairie du Chien then stay overnight at Wyalusing State Park, which overlooks the Wisconsin and Mississippi River confluence. Camping overnight will feature a drumming session around the campfire. Grant funds go toward print and online advertising, radio, and flyers. The objective of the campaign is to increase paddle participation numbers on the western edge of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers.

In fiscal 2013, the Wisconsin Department of  Tourism funded 56 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.2 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $36 million dollars. In 2013, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled an estimated $17.5 billion, a 4 percent increase over 2012. Total business sales in Crawford County topped $56 million in 2013, supporting over 700 jobs and over $5.4 million in state and local taxes. Total business sales in Grant County topped $74 million in 2013, supporting over 885 jobs and over $5.1 million in state and local taxes.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The Department of Tourism’s portal for traveler information can be found at

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