About The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund

The Bend Cultural Tourism Fund (BCTF) is a grant program funded by Visit Bend to enhance Bend’s economy through cultural tourism. From musical productions to art exhibits to film festivals and more, the BCTF supports cultural opportunities that draw visitors to Bend.

Thanks to a ballot measure passed in 2013, Visit Bend funds the BCTF using 7.5-10% of the organization’s total annual public funding received from the City of Bend. The program awarded $125,000 to cultural tourism organizations in 2015, just over $185,000 in 2016, just under $200,000 in 2017, $205,000 in 2018, $200,000 in 2019, $319,500 in 2021, $400,000 in 2022, and $400,000 in 2023.

Awards have supported cultural opportunities ranging from the Deschutes Public Library’s Author! Author! series to a Nordic skiing exhibit at the Deschutes Historical Museum to the Bend A Cappella Festival.

Visit Bend is supported by a portion of the transient room tax generated through short-term lodging stays within the city limits of Bend, which is distributed by the City of Bend. A portion of this restricted tax, received between April 1 – March 31 of the previous year, is used to fund the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, a Visit Bend Project.

Winter PrideFest in Bend, OR

Small Marketing/Research Grants (formally known as Catalyst Grants) are intended to support newer emerging cultural tourism activities that will have less of a focus on ROI or conduct research for a new project’s feasibility. Small Marketing/Research Grant award amounts are typically smaller than the Large Marketing Grants. Historically, the average award is $9,000.

Large Marketing Grants are intended to support high quality cultural tourism activities that demonstrate a clear and measurable economic benefit in Bend. These grants are usually for established programs and activities that need a little help to draw in additional tourists and can demonstrate measurable return on investment. The average Large Marketing Grant made in 2023 was $26,700. The maximum award was $48,000.

bctf-scalehouse-art-fest-2021

Small Marketing/Research Grants (formally known as Catalyst Grants) are intended to support newer emerging cultural tourism activities that will have less of a focus on ROI or conduct research for a new project’s feasibility. Small Marketing/Research Grant award amounts are typically smaller than the Large Marketing Grants. Historically, the average award is $9,000.

bctf-winter-life-1

Large Marketing Grants are intended to support high quality cultural tourism activities that demonstrate a clear and measurable economic benefit in Bend. These grants are usually for established programs and activities that need a little help to draw in additional tourists and can demonstrate measurable return on investment. The average Large Marketing Grant made in 2023 was $26,700. The maximum award was $48,000.

What We Have Done So Far

Since 2015 the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund has enhanced the cultural life of Bend. We are just getting started.

Dollars granted: $2,032,105

Projects funded: 102

Organizations supported: 41

Muse Unconference in Bend, Oregon

Meet a few of our

Grantees

High Desert Museum

10 Projects

  •   View Website

Dirty Freehub

2 Projects

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Tower Theatre Foundation

2 Projects

  •   View Website