Ottawa Bluesfest is getting a nearly $10-million injection from the federal government ahead of its return to LeBreton Flats next month.

Mark Monahan, the festival's executive director, said the $9.8 million in funding will help Bluesfest come back "bigger, better and stronger," than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This contribution from the government will allow us to pick up where we left off," he told reporters at the Canadian War Museum. "The challenges we've faced, both financially and emotionally, have been huge over the last two years.

"This contribution... will enusre the healthy survival of the festival for years to come."

Bluesfest plans to expand its main stage area from its usual location on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum to include the nearby Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, the government announcement said.

"This means more people will be able to attend and enjoy future shows while helping ensure Bluesfest continues to attract top talent," said Helena Jaczek, the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario.

The festival will also add a new portable stage.

Bluefest was forced to cancel its 2020 and 2021 editions because of the pandemic.

Money for three Ottawa tourism operators

The government also announced more than $250,000 combined for three Ottawa tourism businesses: Alicja Confections, Escape Tours and Rentals, and Haunted Walks.

The money will help the businesses recover from the pandemic and attract tourists, Jaczek said.